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Published on Monday, November 9, 2020

Canadian airlines must refund customers to get government bailout

Canada's federal government is getting tough with the country's struggling airlines.

It will only offer financial support if airlines refund customers for cancelled flights.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau laid out the conditions ahead of expected talks later this week on a government bailout.

The vast majority of flyers have been issued with credits or vouchers and only very few have managed to secure refunds recently.

"We are ready to establish a process with major airlines regarding financial assistance which could include loans and potentially other support to secure important results for Canadians," Garneau said.

The Canadian Transportation Agency said it received 8,000 complaints through the end of August, mostly related to refund requests.

There are also federal class action lawsuits pending over the lack of refunds.

The government is ready to assist the airline industry but wants a commitment to refund customers and ensure essential air service in regional areas is maintained.

"Before we spend one penny of taxpayer money on airlines, we will ensure Canadians get their refunds. We will ensure Canadians and regional communities retain air connections to the rest of Canada," the Minister said.

Trade group the National Airlines Council of Canada has welcomed federal financial assistance and says 'the industry will not recover without strong federal leadership.'


Written by Ray Montgomery, US Editor

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