The National Airlines Council of Canada says it will need its own government aid program to emerge from the devastation of the COVID 19 pandemic. NACC wasted little time trying to get the ear of new Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and wrote her within hours of her swearing in. Freeland took over from former Minister Bill Morneau who resigned last week. The NACC said the urgency of the airlines’s situation is reflective of the urgency of the communication with Freeland.“The reality that there is no clear timeframe for when government will allow aviation to move forward, requires us to urgently look at sectoral support for airlines”, said NACC President and CEO Mike McNaney.
He said that while other countries are gradually rebuilding their airline services, Canada has stalled its approach to airline travel and will have to finance the emergence of the industry when it considers it appropriate. The broad-brush emergency aid programs for employers and individuals have helped but McNaney said the industry needs its own set of programs. “If aviation is to remain at Stage Zero for an indeterminate time period due to government policy, we need to begin work now on measures to sustain the industry. While the federal government has put forth non-sectoral support programs for all industries, those programs were not designed in the context of a specific industry remaining at Stage Zero, with no indication of when it can methodically re-open,” he said.