NACC Says Funding Announcement ‘A First Step’

Responding to Transport Minister, Omar Alghabra’s March 14 announcement of $75.9 million in additional funding to help the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) clear consumer compensation claims, the National Airlines Council of Canada’s (NACC) president and CEO, Jeff Morrison said:
“Today’s announcement by Minister Alghabra is a welcome first step in the right direction to clear the current backlog of claims and ensure that similar backlogs are not allowed to happen in the future.  However, the only long-term solution is permanent policy improvements to ensure that the entire air travel ecosystem is properly funded so it works effectively and to hold all participants accountable so Canadian air travellers can have confidence that their journey is predictable and timely.”

Morrison continued: “That means having clear service standards across the entire aviation system, rather than airlines being the only stakeholder subject to enforceable standards.”

NACC’s president and CEO said that: “The upcoming Federal Budget on March 28 is this government’s opportunity to demonstrate that it is willing to make the investments needed to make things better for travellers. We have now seen two parliamentary committee reports calling for the government to invest in the human resources, technology, and infrastructure upgrades that are needed.”

Said Morrison: “The time has come for the government to act.  The current environment of high taxes, rent, and user fees imposed on the airline industry have resulted in the aviation ecosystem needing to take on increased debt, particularly during the pandemic. Not only has this increased fare costs for passengers; it has also led to the deferral of critical investments in infrastructure at our airports — the kind of upgrades that can help keep flights running on time during extreme weather events, or high volumes of traffic, to name a few examples.”

Morrison said that: “Canadians recognize that the drivers of flight disruptions lie outside the control of airlines; extending shared accountability to security lines, customs lines, airports and air navigation will enhance accountability and transparency for travellers when unforeseen circumstances occur.”

And he concluded: “NACC is also recommending that the federal government adopt quantitative metrics and benchmarks for addressing service delivery issues, which should be made public.  Canada’s airlines will continue to work collaboratively with the Government of Canada towards the goal of positive policy changes that make a real difference for air passengers.”