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Suspension of regional flights serves devastating blow to local communities

January 14, 2021 - 12:00 AM

January 14, 2021

TORONTO – Air Canada's decision to suspend Jazz flights to Yellowknife, Kamloops, Gander and Goose Bay regional airports is one more blow to remote communities already suffering from the current crisis in the airlines industry. 

"In a country as vast as Canada, with so many remote communities, air travel is key to our transportation infrastructure, yet the federal government has ignored this reality, and the needs of workers in this industry, who are hit so hard by the pandemic," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "Countries around the world have developed national aviation strategies and offered billions in financial support while Canada silently lets our regional airports flounder and burn through what’s left of their cash reserves.”

In addition to the eight regional airport closures announced last summer, Air Canada has suspended all service to ten additional regional airports handled by Jazz (Toronto Island, Comox, Castlegar, Penticton, Sydney, Saint John, Gander, Goose Bay, Yellowknife, Kamloops). The most recent service cuts, will affect more than 200 workers at its Express carriers including Jazz, and the service cuts will leave already isolated communities further from the transportation they require.

"Today, yet again, I am calling on the federal government to put a plan in place to help our Air Canada Jazz members and all airline workers and their families, before the industry collapses," said Dias.

The union has requested a meeting with the new Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, to present its recommendations for a national aviation recovery plan.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

To arrange a phone, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype interview or for more information please contact Unifor Communications Representative Hamid Osman at hamid.osman@unifor.org or 647-448-2823 (cell).