Airlines happy as Canada drops COVID-19 mask and testing requirements

 Tuesday, September 27, 2022 

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Early today, Canada’s government announced it was lifting its mask mandate for air travel and the remaining COVID-19 restrictions it had set in place.

The changes will go into effect on October 1.

Air Canada responds

Shortly after the announcement was made, Air Canada posted on its social media accounts that it welcomed the government’s decision to drop the COVID-19 travel restrictions.

In a statement, the airline’s COO said, that Air Canada welcomes the removal of these restrictions, acknowledging that air travel is safe and that the measures were not justified by science.

They believe it will greatly facilitate travel, help to continue stabilizing the country’s air transport sector and support Canada’s economy.

Customers and crew will still have the option to wear masks and they also encourage customers to monitor their own health to be sure they feel well and fit to travel.

Craig Landry, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer at Air Canada said while that day’s announcement is a positive step, they urge the government not to lose momentum.

Lessons learned during the pandemic should now be applied to streamlining the air transport system in Canada and to enact further reforms.

This includes improving processes, such as security and customs at airports, developing new trusted traveller programs, deploying new technologies and, more fundamentally, re-examining the user-pay model that finances air transportation in Canada, whose weaknesses and interdependencies were exposed by COVID.

Up until today, Canada still had its mask requirement for passengers on aircraft. In addition, the country was still requiring testing and quarantine where applicable, and ArriveCan.

Air Canada expects that the decision to drop all restrictions will help its recovery from the pandemic.

The airline is already returning to pre-pandemic levels, has improved its on-time performance compared to a few months ago, and has improved its baggage handling operations.

Air Canada invests in electric aircraft

Air Canada recently signed a purchase agreement for 30 of Heart Aerospace’s hybrid electric aircraft, the ES-30. The agreement also includes a $5 million equity stake in the company, which provides valuable capital to continue its work.

Air Canada’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Rousseau, said, that the introduction into our fleet of the ES-30 electric regional aircraft from Heart Aerospace will be a step forward to our goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Already, Air Canada is supporting the development of new technologies, such as sustainable aviation fuels and carbon capture, to address climate change.

They are now reinforcing our commitment by investing in revolutionary electric aircraft technology, both as a customer for the ES-30 and as an equity partner in Heart Aerospace.

The new aircraft are expected to enter into service for Air Canada in 2028 and will be essential to maintaining sustainability in its regional services.

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