The federal government has reached a deal with Air Canada worth $5.9 billion.
The deal ensures passengers can get refunds for flights cancelled due to COVID-19, regional airports can restore Air Canada service, and allows a six-percent stake to be purchased by the federal government for $500 million.
YQR International Airport President and CEO James Bogusz says he’s glad to see a deal reached, adding Air Canada has already expanded service to Regina this year.
“Air Canada had already shared with us a recent announcement to start a new route to Montreal as well as restoring some frequency to Calgary, and also adding frequency to Vancouver and Toronto, which we’re all very positive will be received by our community,” Bogusz said. “Our hope is as we go forward into the summer with Air Canada’s access to this new liquidity — in the form of what we understand to be loans — we are hopeful that service is not in jeopardy.”
Bogusz says he hopes this allows Air Canada to add regional routes that haven’t been restored as part of this deal.
“We didn’t hear that as part of the announcement, they listed a number of of cities, Regina and Saskatoon were not included,” Bogusz said. “A question mark will be will we see once again, city-pairs like Winnipeg, for example — which they used to operate — in the future?”
While they wait for a similar deal to be reached with other airlines, Bogusz says he remains hopeful a deal can also be reached with airports across the country.