Unifor President Jerry Dias takes a question from a journalist after announcing a three-year labour agreement with the Ford Motor Company at a news conference in Toronto on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Unifor President Jerry Dias takes a question from a journalist after announcing a three-year labour agreement with the Ford Motor Company at a news conference in Toronto on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Airline unions call on Trudeau for $7 billion in loans for ailing industry

Travel restrictions and dried-up demand continue to take a toll on the airline and tourism industries

Labour leaders are calling on Ottawa to provide immediate financial aid to an airline industry devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The heads of two pilots’ unions and Unifor have asked the federal government to offer carriers one per cent loans to the tune of $7 billion in total.

The labour groups are seeking a combination of loan guaranties as well as direct financial aid, but say they are not seeking grants.

Unifor president Jerry Dias pointed to the U.S., Germany, France and other countries that have offered billions in sector-specific support in contrast to Canada, which has instead rolled out financial aid such as wage subsidies available to many industries.

Travel restrictions and dried-up demand continue to take a toll on the airline and tourism industries, with more than 30,000 employees laid off or furloughed at Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Ltd.

In its throne speech last week, the Liberal government pledged to “support regional routes,” but has provided no details.

The unions also called for funding to develop a quarantine and testing plan that would ramp up rapid viral tests for passengers as a step toward easing travel restrictions.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

AirlinesCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

Most Read