Ottawa, Air Canada reach Can$5.9 bln aid agreement

14 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

MONTREAL: The Canadian government and Air Canada announced Monday they have reached a financial aid plan in the form of loans to help the country's largest airline recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The agreement calls for Air Canada to have access to about Can$5.9 billion (US$4.7 billion), reports AFP.

"We have reached a significant and historic agreement with Air Canada," Canadian transport minister Omar Alghabra told a press conference.

In order to benefit from the financial aid, Air Canada has agreed to abide by several conditions, particularly reimbursing customers whose tickets were canceled by the carrier due to the pandemic.

The airline has also agreed to resume regional routes and restrictions on executive compensation. Air Canada, which currently employs about 15,000 people, has pledged not to cut any new jobs after having to lay off more than 20,000 employees since the start of the pandemic.

Deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland hailed a "good and fair deal," saying that airlines are a strategic sector that generate jobs for the country's middle class.