Air Canada Friday announced that, as the recovery of the travel industry continues and the company finds itself with “improved liquidity position,” it is “withdrawing from further Government of Canada financial support.”
The airline was initially the recipient of a nearly $6 billion federal support package announced in APR this year. It provided Air Canada with interest-bearing loans, which the company says it has only drawn on today to refund customers who were unable to fly due to the pandemic.
According to Air Canada, “all other remaining facilities totaling $3.975 billion have not been used.”
“Air Canada’s recovery from COVID-19 continues,” said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada, in a company news release.
“We are recalling employees, adding new routes and frequencies to our network, and restoring services, and, last quarter, we completed a $7.1-billion financing. Today, in another convincing sign of our progress, we are announcing our withdrawal from the major funding provisions of our support agreement with the Government of Canada for the $3.975 billion in facilities that were never accessed and remain unused.”
Rousseau went on to add, “We deeply appreciate the Government of Canada’s support as this helped maintain a level playing field at a time when governments around the world, recognizing the importance of air travel to their economies, were also assisting their national carriers in the face of the unprecedented downturn caused by COVID-19.”
In addition to helping preserve thousands of jobs and travel choice for Canadians, the assistance offered to Air Canada importantly served as an extra level of insurance that enabled us to raise additional liquidity on our own to manage the pandemic and give us sufficient resources to effectively compete in the post-pandemic marketplace.”