Release #: 20.25
September 23, 2020
ALPA Canada Needs to See More Support For Aviation Industry
Awaits further details from throne speech but sees some reason for cautious optimism
OTTAWA, ONT.—As Canada’s aviation sector continues to struggle from the effects of COVID-19, today’s throne speech shed some light on potentially meaningful government assistance to directly support the aviation industry and protect the jobs of its workers.
For more than six months, the Air Line Pilots Association Canada (ALPA Canada) has respectfully lobbied the government for targeted support as the Association and its members fight to stop the failure of Canada’s airline industry.
“We did not receive any firm commitment from the government with respect to targeted support for the airline industry, and while we are encouraged to hear a general acknowledgment of more support for travel and tourism, we need much more, and we need it urgently,” said ALPA Canada President Tim Perry. “We have been saying from the beginning that support for the airline sector must include consideration for all of Canada’s diverse regions and municipalities and are encouraged the government will work with partners to support regional routes for airlines. We look forward to hearing more details.”
Canadian airlines employ over 50,000 people directly and another 141,000 indirectly with an economic footprint of $35 billion, and they support millions of other jobs throughout the economy.
“The government will also be extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) right through to next summer. While the CEWS has been a lifeline for many of our members, we still believe that a targeted approach for the airline sector is required, and that is what we will continue to fight for,” Perry further explained. “Nearly half of our Canadian membership has already been furloughed, while our remaining members have negotiated significant compensation reductions that have helped allow our airlines to survive. We are glad to see after months of discussions, the government has finally heard us on the issue of a CEWS extension and is willing to work with us, by taking this step.”
While the full details have yet to be released, ALPA Canada recently provided the government with forward-looking recommendations, in its Finance Committee pre-budget submission, that provide a clear path to assisting the industry’s COVID-19 recovery efforts and future growth.
With the resumption of Parliament, ALPA Canada repeats its earlier calls for the federal government to help remove the jurisdictional barriers and work with the provinces on a coordinated safe return to domestic air travel that uses a science-based, physician-endorsed approach and incorporates new understanding and best practices for safe air travel in our new reality—this includes rapid testing and temperature checks, personal protective equipment, stringent and visible cleaning protocols, and strict measures to limit contact on and off aircraft.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents nearly 63,000 pilots at 35 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org