•   
  •   
  •   

Canada Ottawa’s financial relief deal for Air Canada: what it means for customers

07:41  13 april  2021
07:41  13 april  2021 Source:   globalnews.ca

NHL suspends Avs' Jacob MacDonald two games for hit on Wild's Ryan Hartman

  NHL suspends Avs' Jacob MacDonald two games for hit on Wild's Ryan Hartman The incident in question took place during Wednesday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild, with MacDonald targeting a defenseless Ryan Hartman in the first period. Player Safety described the hit as follows: © Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports Jacob MacDonald is facing a two-game suspension for a hit during Wednesday's game. "MacDonald delivered a high, forceful hit to [Hartman] that picked his head, making it the main point of contact on a hit where such contact was avoidable… MacDonald, arriving on the backcheck, delivers a high hit that cuts across the front of Hartman and picks his head.

The federal government's nearly $6 billion financial support package for Air Canada announced Monday includes billions of dollars to help the struggling airline rebuild from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

a large air plane on a runway: An Air Canada Airbus A320 jet (C-FPDN) takes off from Vancouver International Airport, Richmond, B.C. on Thursday, September 24, 2020. © THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Bayne Stanley An Air Canada Airbus A320 jet (C-FPDN) takes off from Vancouver International Airport, Richmond, B.C. on Thursday, September 24, 2020.

Among the conditions in the deal are guaranteed refunds for flights cancelled due to the pandemic, along with the restoration of regional routes that were previously suspended and job protection for the airline's remaining employees.

COVID-19: Ontario reports more than 4,000 new cases; Ottawa hospitalizations, ICU cases at record levels

  COVID-19: Ontario reports more than 4,000 new cases; Ottawa hospitalizations, ICU cases at record levels Ottawa hospitals preparing to postpone non-urgent surgeries as COVID-19 cases continue to rise School closure to in-person learning following spring break is more likely than not, Dr. Vera Etches says Ottawa sees 242 new cases, one new death Ontario reported 4,249 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, a high not seen since the peak of the second wave in early January. This total includes 1,218 infections in Toronto, 762 in Peel, 532 in York Region, and 247 in Durham. The seven-day average now sits at 3,256 cases reported daily, provincewide. There have been 378,339 cases of COVID-19 in Ontario since the pandemic began.

Here's what travellers need to know about the package.

Read more: Feds announce $5.9B aid package to Air Canada to help customer refunds, jobs

Refunds for cancelled flights

As part of the deal, the Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation is offering a loan facility of up to $1.4 billion to allow Air Canada to refund travellers whose flights were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Air Canada says customers can apply for those refunds starting April 13.

Under the agreement, refunds will be available for flights purchased on or before Mar. 22, 2020, for travel after Feb. 1, 2020, that were cancelled by either the customer or the airline.

Refunds will also be available for flights purchased after Mar. 22, 2020, that were later cancelled by the airline.

Trade-deadline primer: Vegas Golden Knights

  Trade-deadline primer: Vegas Golden Knights While GM Kelly McCrimmon would certainly like to try to add to his roster, the Golden Knights will be hard-pressed to try to do so..Vegas was expected to be a contender this season, and despite some key players missing time due to injury and salary-cap constraints forcing them to play below the minimum number of skaters on multiple occasions, they’ve done just that. They will also be tap-dancing around the salary cap for the rest of the season, so while GM Kelly McCrimmon would certainly like to try to add to his roster, the Golden Knights will be hard-pressed to try to do so. Nevertheless, here is a closer look at their situation.

Travel agents who purchased tickets on customers' behalf can help process those refunds, according to the agreement. However, those agents will still get to keep the commissions they collected from those purchases.

Air Canada told Global News in an email that the refunds will also be available for travellers who used vouchers or Aeroplan points to purchase their tickets.

The airline has been given seven years to repay any loans borrowed from the government refund facility, at an annual interest rate of 1.211 per cent.

According to year-end financial results for 2020, Air Canada made over $2.3 billion in advance ticket sales, including cancelled flights.

Restoring regional service

The agreement with Ottawa also requires Air Canada to restore service to regional connections that were suspended last year and as recently as early 2021.

Bruins acquire defenseman Mike Reilly from Senators

  Bruins acquire defenseman Mike Reilly from Senators A good showing with Boston would certainly bolster his value heading into the open market but could also create an opportunity for him to stick around. Reilly is a pending unrestricted free agent with a $1.5 million salary and cap hit, which still leaves GM Don Sweeney some space with which to work before Monday’s trade deadline. The Bruins could still stand to add defensive depth in light of the injuries but they could also turn to try to add up front and add some secondary scoring, an element they’ve frequently coveted in recent deadlines.

The airline must restore service no later than June 1 to regional airports in the following cities:

Bathurst, N.B.;

Comox, B.C.;

Fredericton, N.B.;

Gander, Nfld.;

Goose Bay, Nfld.;

Kamloops, B.C.;

North Bay, Ont.;

Penticton, B.C.;

Prince Rupert, B.C.;

Saint John, N.B.;

Sandspit, B.C.;

Sydney, N.S.; and

Yellowknife, N.W.T.

Read more: Air Canada ready to refund flight cancellations in exchange for bailout: union

Additionally, Ottawa is requiring Air Canada to reach agreements with other, smaller airlines to help restore routes to regional airports whose services were permanently cancelled due to the pandemic.

Those include the Quebec areas of Gaspé, Baie Comeau, Mont Joli, Val d'Or and the Magdalen Islands, along with Castlegar, B.C., and Wabush, Nfld.

Many of those routes were suspended or cut permanently last summer as Air Canada struggled with plummeting ticket sales due to COVID-19. Service to several additional Atlantic Canada regions and Yellowknife was cancelled this past January.

Job protection

Air Canada has also agreed to not cut any more jobs amid the pandemic, keeping its current workforce of 14,859 active Canadian employees.

Air Canada, Ottawa agree to aid package worth up to $5.9 billion

  Air Canada, Ottawa agree to aid package worth up to $5.9 billion OTTAWA — Air Canada and the federal government have agreed to loans and equity financing that would allow the airline to access as much as $5.9 billion. As part of the package Air Canada has agreed to a number of commitments, including refunds for some customers who did not travel due to COVID-19 and a promise to resume service at regional airports. Thousands of would-be passengers who paid for tickets remained in the lurch at the end of 2020. Air Canada reported it held $2.3 billion in advance ticket sales during the fourth quarter.

The airline has slashed roughly 25,000 jobs since COVID-19 first began to affect air travel around the world.

Some of those workers have still been paid through the federal government's Emergency Wage Subsidy. Air Canada says it received a gross subsidy of $656 million in 2020, including $586 million in cash payments received.

What about WestJet and other airlines?

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said during Monday's announcement that conversations between the government and other airlines for similar relief packages are ongoing.

However, she said the $1.4 billion loan facility for refunds will be made available to all airlines "if they would like to work with us to refund their passengers."

Freeland said details on subsequent deals with other airlines will be announced once negotiations are completed.

Is taxpayer money being used to bail out Air Canada?

Freeland was quick to point out that the relief package is not a taxpayer-funded bail-out when asked directly Monday.

Rather, the package includes roughly $4 billion in loans that Air Canada will have to pay back within five to seven years, depending on the credit facility.

Interest rates range from 1.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent, the latter of which increases to 9.5 per cent after five years.

Additionally, the Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation has made an equity investment of $500 million in Air Canada stock, with shares purchased at a 15 per cent discount -- giving the government a stake in the airline for the first time since it went private in 1989.

Read more: Air Canada optimistic on government aid talks as it posts ‘bleak’ financial results

"Taxpayers aren't footing the bill," Freeland told reporters. "This is a loan facility and the government of Canada fully expects to be paid back."

Air Canada said in its announcement of the agreement that it has raised an additional $6.8 billion in liquidity since the pandemic began last spring.

The airline reported an operating loss of nearly $3.8 billion in 2020, with a $13.3 billion decline in revenue compared to 2019.

COVID-19: Science advisory group outlines suggestions for pandemic response; Ontario and Ottawa see drop in new cases .
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland seeking pharmacy appointments for AstraZeneca vaccine Province kicks off 24/7 pharmacy vaccinations in Toronto hot spots and enables walk-in vaccinations for drug stores with capacity A group of science and health experts who provide information the province uses to craft its pandemic response have released a statement outlining what will, and will not, help Ontario as it struggles with the third wave of the COVID-19 crisis.

usr: 5
This is interesting!