The federal government is not ruling out investing to acquire, in part, Canadian carriers like Air Canada and WestJet to enable them to fly over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc unveiled on Sunday during the show Question Period CTV that the federal government study various measures to help carriers, including the purchase of part of the companies.
“I know that my colleagues Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport) and Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance) are exploring a whole range of possibilities to help the sector. We have not taken any decisions yet, but it is an option which is part of the discussions, ”said Minister Leblanc, alluding to the fact that Germany recently acquired a 20% stake in the carrier Lufthansa.
The federal government could decide to come to the aid of carriers in the hope that the industry will still be in good health when the effects of the pandemic have subsided and that travelers will be back on planes, argued Mr. Leblanc.
However, companies should not expect to get a blank check and will have to take responsibility for the reimbursement file for canceled flights, the minister warned.
“I know many people are upset that thousands of dollars on the credit card have been turned into travel credit that they may or may not be able to use within the allotted time,” he said. he assures.
Several travelers forced to reconsider their plans, especially last spring due to border closures, had been offered a simple travel credit, rather than a refund, which had sparked much dissatisfaction.
This outing by Minister Leblanc comes as the sky continued to darken for air carriers. Last week, WestJet suspended most of its flights to the Atlantic provinces, as well as Quebec, for lack of passengers. Earlier this year, Air Canada also suspended dozens of regional routes, both in Quebec and elsewhere in the country.