Air Canada slams Trudeau government for disrupting air travel, creating ‘impossible operating environment’

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Air Canada blasted its own government on Friday, accusing the Trudeau administration of creating an “impossible operating environment” for the airline after posting an operating loss of C $ 1.55 billion in the previous six months the end of June. The Canadian government is facing growing calls to ease the strict travel restrictions and quarantine rules that have virtually halted international air travel to and from Canada.

“As with many other major airlines around the world, Air Canada’s second quarter results confirm the devastating and unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government-imposed restrictions on travel and borders and quarantine requirements, ”explained the CEO of the airline, Calin Rovinescu.

“Canada’s federal and interprovincial restrictions have been among the toughest in the world, ending most of our country’s commercial aviation,” said Rovinescu after revealing that Air Canada’s passenger numbers were in decline. 96% decrease compared to the same period last year. .

Rovinescu urged Trudeau to take “reasonable steps” to reopen Canada safely, saying action was urgently needed. Other countries, Rovinescu argued, had already succeeded in easing travel restrictions while balancing public health priorities.

Canada has advised against all but essential international travel since March 14, effectively canceling travel insurance for anyone wishing to travel abroad. Most foreign citizens still do not have the right to enter Canada, while all returning Canadian citizens must undergo a strict 14-day quarantine, regardless of where they return in the world.

Returning travelers who break quarantine face up to six months in prison, while the sentence for infecting someone with COVID-19 is a prison sentence of up to three years.

More than 140 major Canadian companies and travel and tourism companies recently wrote to the Canadian government to demand that general travel restrictions be replaced with a more nuanced approach. Canada’s Transport Minister Marc Garneau said on Friday that the government recognizes the impact of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, but that policies will be “guided by experts in science and public health.”

Air Canada is currently working with Toronto-based Spartan Bioscience to explore the possibility of rapidly testing COVID-19 at airports and says advanced biosecurity measures as part of its CleanCare + program reduce the risk of exposure to the new coronavirus.

Without government support, whether through subsidies or easing restrictions, Air Canada has warned it may be forced to cut more – with more job losses or order cancellations. ‘planes. This threat includes the cancellation of a purchase contract for Airbus A220 aircraft manufactured in Quebec.

But waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine, Rovinescu warned, was just not an option.



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