Canada’s airline, tourism sectors facing ‘catastrophic’ decline due to COVID-19 pandemic
· CBC News
Airline lobby group warns that, without aid, companies will fold and thousands more will be laid off
As Canada’s aviation and tourism sectors face a decline of epic proportions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government is preparing an aid package to save an industry that employs well over 2 million Canadians.
The lobby group that represents dozens of air carriers in this country is warning that, without immediate support from Ottawa, airlines will fold, thousands more will be out of work and the travel landscape in this country will be crippled for the foreseeable future.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said help is on the way — but it can’t come soon enough for an industry bleeding cash.
“We recognize there are certain industries that have been extremely hard hit by both the drop in oil prices and the COVID-19 challenge, whether it’s airlines or oil and gas or tourism,” Trudeau told reporters Tuesday when asked about the prospect of support.
“There are significant areas where we’re going to have to do more. And as I’ve said from the very beginning, we will be doing more.”
His organization represents both large and small airlines, including Porter — which has grounded its entire operation— leisure carrier Sunwing and more than a dozen regional operators that serve rural and remote communities.
McKenna said that some carriers won’t make it through this crisis. He warned that the damage to the industry will only increase while it waits for the federal government to act.
‘Help us out here’
He said the promised wage subsidies for all businesses will help but his organization is also looking for interest-free loans to provide carriers with some much-needed capital.
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