With an improved liquidity position and the ongoing recovery from the pandemic, Air Canada says it is withdrawing from further government of Canada financial support.
The support package, announced in April 2021, provided the carrier access to interest bearing loans of $5.375 billion through several separate credit facilities. To date, Air Canada has only accessed the facility solely dedicated to refunding customers’ non-refundable tickets, while all other remaining facilities totaling $3.975 billion have not been used.
Air Canada’s president and chief executive officer, Michael Rousseau said that: “Air Canada’s recovery from COVID-19 continues. We are recalling employees, adding new routes and frequencies to our network, and restoring services, and, last quarter, we completed a $7.1-billion financing. Today, in another convincing sign of our progress, we are announcing our withdrawal from the major funding provisions of our support agreement with the Government of Canada for the $3.975 billion in facilities that were never accessed and remain unused.”
Rousseau continued: “We deeply appreciate the Government of Canada’s support as this helped maintain a level playing field at a time when governments around the world, recognizing the importance of air travel to their economies, were also assisting their national carriers in the face of the unprecedented downturn caused by COVID-19.”
Air Canada’s president and CEO, noted that: “In addition to helping preserve thousands of jobs and travel choice for Canadians, the assistance offered to Air Canada importantly served as an extra level of insurance that enabled us to raise additional liquidity on our own to manage the pandemic and give us sufficient resources to effectively compete in the post-pandemic marketplace.”