COVID 19: Canadian airlines urge the lifting of restrictions

Premium Analysis

Canadian airlines remain in the midst of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, but similarly to the situation of their US counterparts, there are some encouraging signs emerging. However, a full recovery remains years away.

The country's two largest airlines - Air Canada and WestJet - are adding flights back to their summer 2020 schedule; however, capacity remains far below 2019 levels. Air Canada, WestJet and other travel stakeholders are also urging Canada's government to lift some travel restrictions as other parts of the world open up.

Canadian airlines are adding back flights as government aid to the sector remains murky. Air Canada has stated that it entered the crisis with a sound balance sheet, and it may not need to seek financial assistance. Privately held WestJet may also have a strong enough war chest to withstand the crisis, and at this point, neither airline has opted to make use of a loan package created by the government to assist larger corporations.

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