Canada’s airlines need aid for coping with pandemic-related economic downturn

Published on : Thursday, December 3, 2020

Ottawa’s plans to provide support for the struggling tourism sector were welcomed heartily, while Canada’s airlines awaited aid for their industry.


The Liberal Canadian government announced commencement of the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program, which would provide low-interest loans to stressed tourism businesses along with hotel and other sectors. The government also announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would return to its original rate of 75 per cent.


Susie Grynol, the president and CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada, said that the government’s measures will help make up for the losses in the industry.


Grynol said that Ottawa’s measures show that the government had listened to the industry, which is badly affected by the pandemic’s economic toll. She said that the tourism sector will need more targeted aid down the line, particularly in March when Ottawa’s increase to the wage subsidy expires.
However, Canada’s major airlines need monetary aid too, which are still under pressure amid a lack of demand for travel.


On Monday, the National Airlines Council of Canada urged the federal government to move quickly regarding a targeted aid package for the industry and initiate measures like rapid COVID testing at airports that would increase demand for travel.


“While other countries around the world moved forward months ago to provide sectoral support for airlines, Canada remains a global outlier and is ostensibly stuck at stage zero on the government planning process,” said the group in a statement.


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