The Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) released a statement today asking the Canadian Government to deny Air Canada’s recent request for pension relief.
Air Canada, under its Defined Benefits Pension Fund, is expected to contribute $4.2 billion and thus has filed a request for a cap on its pension fund contributions to be set at $150 million, saving the company $700 million over the next five years.
ATAC believes this would create an unfair playing field. “Relief offered exclusively to a former crown corporation, that has already had immense support, not forthcoming to their competitors, is not the type of strategy that would benefit Canadians or the air industry now or in the future,” says John McKenna, President and CEO, ATAC.
ATAC disapproves of helping only one airline as it “would seriously impact the competitiveness of Canada’s airline industry.”
“ATAC is a strong proponent of a level playing field in air transport in Canada. Consequently, we urge the Government to draft a response to Air Canada’s requesting such a way that it would help all Canadian carriers equally rather than privilege one carrier above all others. ATAC respectfully suggests that the Government keep in mind that the Canadian air transport industry as a whole is an essential service and not just any one carrier,” said McKenna.