Photo: Graham Hughes The canadian Press
Air Canada is the second airline to bring an easing to its policy of offering refunds instead of credits to passengers whose flights have been cancelled due to the health crisis.
Air Canada has recently changed its reimbursement policy by offering certain customers whose flights have been cancelled due to the pandemic COVID-19 to get their money back — but not for travelers who purchased their ticket in Canada.
A document recently posted on its Web site indicates that the change affects flights ” at the start of the european Union, Switzerland and Iceland “, when it refuses the “diversion available” in the event of a delay or cancellation of a vol. ” This decision derives from the many discussions that were held with members of the european Union on appropriate action given the unprecedented global crisis and our own review of the regulations applicable in a regulatory context in evolution “, noted in an email, a spokesperson for Air Canada, Pascale Déry, Thursday.
It only relates to travellers that “the route has the point of origin” of the Old Continent, she said. For example, a traveller quebec who purchased a round-trip ticket between Montreal and Paris would not qualify for the modification, said Air Canada, adding that in this case, the canadian law applies — a travel credit in most cases.
However, it was difficult to say how far this policy of the air carrier complies with all the rules in force in the european Union. These cover the passengers “departing from an airport located in the territory of a State” member, not only those whose “point of origin” of the route is in Europe.
The president and ceo of the company late Flight, Jacob Charbonneau, has believed that at first sight, Air Canada would have to repay in part a traveller quebec who purchased a round-trip ticket between Montreal and Paris.
“It would be covered on the flight back, he explained during a phone interview. I do not know, however, how Air Canada is going to deal with that, because the person, in this case, has purchased a round-trip ticket. We will only refund the portion concerned by the european regulation? “
Not the first
Air Canada is the second airline to bring an easing to its policy of offering refunds instead of credits to passengers whose flights have been cancelled due to the health crisis. Earlier this month, WestJet had also made changes to flights including an american city or columbia as their destination or origin.
This change of direction is in response to months of criticism from consumer advocates and the thousands of passengers who continue to ask to be able to recover the money that they have provided for services that they have never obtained.
On Monday, a top executive of Air Canada had declared, before a committee of the House of commons, that the company had made approximately $ 1 billion to customers who had opted for the refundable tickets, but that the sums paid into the coffers of the company for future travel amounted to approximately $ 2.6 billion.
At the same time, Air Canada held Thursday its annual meeting of shareholders, which, like almost all companies at this time, to take place virtually due to the pandemic. Its president and chief executive officer, Calin Rovinescu, who was not available to give interviews, is back on the consequences of severe turbulence caused by the COVID-19, which has in particular forced the company to lay off approximately 20,000 employees, approximately half of its workforce.
He took his message to shareholders to reiterate that the federal government should relax the various restrictions, such as quarantines mandatory, which restrict the international travel and inter-provincial. “It [the government] should consider options that achieve the objectives in the area of public health but minimize economic impact,” said Mr. Rovinescu.
Air Canada has recently gotten up $ 1.23 billion to have sufficient reserves to weather the crisis health, bringing to $ 5.5 billion, the total of the sums collected by the company since mid-march.
Mr. Rovinescu, who has not received any question from the shareholders, has not alluded to the transaction of 720 million to acquire the tour operator Transat A. T. While the decision of the Trudeau government is always expected, the european Commission has temporarily suspended its investigation into the transaction, since it expects certain information on the part of both companies.