Domestic flights, a break in the grey sky of Air Canada

Les vols intérieurs, une éclaircie dans le ciel gris d’Air Canada

Les vols intérieurs, une éclaircie dans le ciel gris d’Air Canada

Leisure travel in Canada have already registered a slight increase, interprovincial barriers being reduced.

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June 16, 2020 18h13

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Domestic flights, a break in the grey sky of Air Canada

The canadian Press

MONTREAL — The chief financial officer of Air Canada, echoed Tuesday the recent call from his boss to an easing of travel restrictions, despite concerns about a second wave of the pandemic COVID-19.

Even if the airline starts to see “some improvement” in bookings for domestic flights, those on international journeys will only get worse probably not before the governments begin to lift the travel restrictions, said Michael Rousseau, to investors at an event organized by the National Bank.

“Bookings will only improve […] that when the government has started to eliminate the restrictions”, a-t-he argues.

Last week, the chief executive officer of Air Canada, Calin Rovinescu, was part of a group of more than 130 signatories of an open letter to the travel industry and tourism. In their missive, they called themselves the premiers and the prime minister Justin Trudeau to ease travel restrictions and to put in place quarantines targeted only for passengers coming from countries at high risk.

Leisure travel in Canada have already registered a slight increase, interprovincial barriers being reduced, ” explained Mr. Rousseau, although several of the Maritime provinces continued to ban travel from one province to the other, while others discourage them.

Mr. Rousseau expects that business travel national resume as early as September, followed by business travel and leisure international, but he pointed out that the lucrative european market was outside of the business this year.

“Bookings will only improve […] that when the government has moved to eliminate the restrictions.”


Michael Rousseau, chief financial officer of Air Canada

“The summer is almost past, to a certain extent. The european markets for leisure are based on the summer. We try to grasp a part of it […], but this will probably be more for the next year”, noted Mr. Rousseau.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trudeau announced that Canada and the United States would continue to limit non-essential travel between the two countries until the 21 of July at least. Ottawa will continue to require passengers returning from abroad to isolate yourself for two weeks.

The confirmation came on the same day as the chinese authorities began to impose some travel restrictions in the capital, as they struggled to contain a new outbreak of coronavirus and prevent it from spreading more widespread in a country that previously seemed to have managed to contain generally the disease.

Air Canada predicted last month that it would lose approximately $ 20 million per day in the second quarter, as the closure of borders and the fall in the demand for travel persisted due to the pandemic of COVID-19, which has prompted the company to deprive them of work nearly 20, 000 employees this month.

According to Mr. Rousseau, the airline does not expect that the number of passengers to return to its level before the pandemic before 2023.

The number of international passengers has decreased by 97% from one year to the other at the beginning of June, and the passengers of the flights in the us were down 98 % to just one day, June 7, according to the border services Agency of Canada.

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