The National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC), representing Canada’s largest carriers (Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet) welcomed today’s statement by labour leaders from Unifor, the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA), and Air Line Pilots Association Canada (ALPA Canada), calling on the federal government to move immediately to provide sectoral support to the aviation sector.
“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on our industry, our employees and the communities we serve. Tens of thousands of employees have been impacted, flight capacity in the market has been reduced by approximately 85% and billions of dollars in aircraft are parked. Countries around the world have brought forth sectoral support for their aviation sectors, precisely because of the critical role aviation must play in the economic recovery. We support today’s call by Canada’s major aviation unions, for the federal government to move forward quickly with support measures to protect Canadian jobs and investment” said Mike McNaney, President and CEO of the NACC.
Government data released this week by Statistics Canada underscores the truly unprecedented challenge facing the aviation community. Passenger numbers in Canada are down between 90% and 97% since the onset of the pandemic. To put that into perspective, during the months following September 11, 2001 and the SARS outbreak in 2003, passenger numbers dropped by a maximum of 26% and then began to slowly recover.
“The Statistics Canada analysis demonstrates that the crisis facing our sector is unprecedented, and there is no line of sight on when the industry will be allowed to move forward from Stage Zero as all the border and travel restrictions implemented in March are still in effect. This underscores the urgent need for the federal government to bring forward sectoral support, and that the certification and adoption of accurate rapid testing regimes is critical to aviation’s recovery and the tens of thousands of jobs that are dependent on travel and tourism.”