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Air Canada : Airport industry group calls for aid as pandemic lockdown chokes off revenue
|11/24/2020 | 03:48pm|
An industry group is sounding the alarm over the financial state of the country's airports as ongoing travel restrictions take a crippling toll on passenger traffic levels and revenues.
“Frankly, the numbers are appalling,” said
The federal government has indicated its willingness to provide a sector-specific aid package for the airline industry, but has not shared any details about its plans. In March,
The pandemic has crushed revenue streams like parking and landing fees, which the airport uses to meet its operating expenses.
“I’m faced with the reality: Do I have to dramatically increase fees? Because I can’t keep cutting my costs any further,” Bogusz said. “We see Ottawa being our option to hopefully have them provide some subsidy to get us by during these really tough times.”
“Unfortunately, for smaller airports, you just can’t borrow your way out of this,” Samaddar said. “They just don’t generate enough activity to be able to do that. It’s getting more dire as the weeks go by that the government hasn’t responded.”
“The air sector cannot respond to these challenges on its own, given the unprecedented impacts on its operations,” the statement said. “To protect Canadians, the
The majority of Canada’s airports are not subsidized by the government, relying instead on revenue generated from passenger air travel, the CAC said.
Since April, traffic in airports has been down 90 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, while October passenger volumes were 85.5 per cent lower than the previous October, according to the CAC.
Other countries have announced measures to help the airline industry. Under the CARES Act, passed by the
The CAC said in its statement that Canada’s delay in taking action risks increasing the amount of time it will take for the industry to recover once the pandemic subsides. The head of an airline lobbying group in the
Canada’s airports supported nearly 200,000 jobs prior to the pandemic, the CAC said.
This report by
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