January 18, 2021

Canada’s leading airlines welcome new transport minister

OTTAWA – Canadian airlines today welcomed the appointment of Omar Alcabra as the new federal transport minister in a statement emphasizing the industry’s continuing challenges.

Mike McGney, President and CEO of the National Aviation Council of Canada, which represents the country’s major airlines, said the team expects to work with Alcabra to restart the aircraft and develop the national Covid-19 test strategy for aviation.

The cabinet reshuffle comes amid tense relations between the government and Canada’s airlines, which have repeatedly criticized Ottawa’s response to the epidemic.

In particular, the government has stopped providing a large aid package to airlines and refused to reduce the mandatory 14-day isolation for international travelers, despite calls from industry for targeted financial assistance.

Last week, WestJet said it would fire 1,000 workers, lay off them, put them on unpaid leave or reduce their time, blaming Ottawa’s response to the epidemic for these measures.

Outgoing Transport Minister Mark Carnegie will continue in the Union Cabinet and serve as Secretary of State.

This report of the Canadian edition was first published on January 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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