Report calls on airlines to reimburse passengers for flights disrupted due to COVID-19

OTTAWA – The House of Commons Transport Committee says the federal government should reimburse ticket holders for flights canceled due to COVID-19 and further strengthen passenger rights, as well as expand passenger relief programs. wages and rents for the besieged aviation sector, in a report filed Thursday.

The Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities met with 60 witnesses and eight industry stakeholders while studying the impact of the pandemic on air travel.

The report says the government should require airlines to immediately reimburse passengers for flights they were unable to take due to the pandemic, and further recognize that the right to a refund for canceled flights exists beyond existing directives.

The committee also said the government should extend the federal wage subsidy for the airline industry and rent relief for large and medium-sized airports.

The report says the recovery of the airline industry from the pandemic will take longer than the current program expiration dates, even after mass vaccinations continue.

The committee asked Transport Canada to write a report on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic to serve as a benchmark for any future emergencies.

“There is no question that the airline industry is critical to Canada’s economic recovery and to connectivity across the country,” Vance Badawey, committee chair and Liberal MP, said in a statement.

He said the committee’s recommendations “are aimed at maintaining the competitiveness of the sector, protecting jobs and ensuring the health and safety of workers, passengers and the Canadian public.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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