Pique Newsmagazine has reported Canada´s federal government has not committed to a bailout of the Canadian airlines, and is not planning to require air carriers to refund ticket holders for flights cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic, the news source said.
Canada´s federal transportation minister said mandating a reimbursement on a sector that has lost more than 90% of its revenue during the COVID-19 lockdown would basically cripple an industry that´s of vital importance to Canada.
In recent weeks, Canadian consumer pressure has intensified on the likes of Air Canada and WestJet to offer full refunds instead of the flight vouchers current used for cancelled flights.
Airlines have maintained their resistance; WestJet is offering flight vouchers usable within two years. Air Canada is refunding its refundable ticket holders, but those holding non-refundable tickets have been offered vouchers that don´t expire or conversion of credits into Aeroplan Miles.
The transport minister said there are a number of wage subsidy and credit facility programs that airlines are eligible for, and he wanted to see how effective those programs are for airlines as they begin slow resumption of flights across the country this summer.