The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) is once again extending the temporary exemption period allowing Air Canada and WestJet to more easily suspend air services between points in Canada due to the pandemic.
In fact, until August 31, 2021, the CTA allows "all carriers that hold a domestic license" to suspend these services (or maintain their suspension) without having to provide the normal 120 days notice or carry out the consultations, as normally provided for in the Canada Air Transportation Act and Regulations (CTA and ATR).
Recall that on March 25, 2020, the CTA granted a first exemption to these rules, until June 30. The Office then extended the exemption until October 15, and then until March 31.
On January 13, WestJet asked the Agency to grant another extension at least until August 31, 2021. On January 20, Air Canada requested to grant another extension until June 30, 2021 - "or any longer period that the Office may deem appropriate."
In announcing its decision to extend the exemption until August 31, 2021, the CTA agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on Canada's airline industry.
"The negative consequences of the pandemic on the volume of passengers and the revenues of domestic carriers and the difficulties linked to the management of their networks in the face of these decreases and this unpredictability make it impossible to require domestic carriers to be subject to all the requirements of article 64 of the LTC and article 14 of the ATR ”.
This extension of the exemption may not be the last.
"If there is no material change in the circumstances which gave rise to this Order as its expiry date approaches, the Office will consider, upon request, granting a further extension of this Order", concludes the Office.
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