MONTREAL, Canada – Air Canada said that it welcomed the greater flexibility contained in the bill tabled today by the Government of Canada to amend and modernize the Air Canada Public Participation Act with respect to its aircraft maintenance obligations. Air Canada is studying the proposed amendments and will make submissions to the Minister of Transport after completing its review.
“It is indeed time that the Air Canada Public Participation Act, dating from the company’s privatization nearly 30 years ago, be modernized to recognize the reality that Air Canada is a private sector company, owned by private sector interests, which operates in a highly competitive global industry that has undergone dramatic transformation over the past three decades,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer, Air Canada. “No other airline in Canada is subject to restrictions such as those imposed on Air Canada. Fundamentally, to continue to succeed and thrive in the global marketplace and to create high-skill job opportunities in Canada beyond those held by our 26,000 employees based across the country, we need a level playing field and the same ability to manage our business and affairs as our competitors.
“Our airline industry today is very different from what it was in the 1980s, with greater domestic competition, many more foreign carriers and maintenance dynamics that have dramatically changed on a global basis. We therefore welcome any modernization of the Air Canada Public Participation Act that would help to level the playing field with the rest of the industry and provide us with increased flexibility,” concluded Mr. Rovinescu.
Subject to concluding final arrangements, the Government of Quebec has agreed to discontinue the litigation related to Air Canada’s obligations regarding the maintenance of an overhaul and operational centre following Air Canada’s agreement to collaborate with the Province to establish a Centre of Excellence for C Series airframe heavy maintenance work in Quebec. The Government of Manitoba has also agreed, subject again to concluding final arrangements, to discontinue litigation following Air Canada’s agreement with that Province to further support Manitoba’s aviation sector by bringing three of its suppliers and partners to Manitoba and helping to develop a Western Canada Center of Excellence.
The Minister of Transport has also indicated that these proposed legislative changes should help to avoid future litigation over the interpretation of the maintenance provisions of the Act and Air Canada welcomes this clarity.