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Air Canada CEO Calls for Easing Border Restrictions

As the carrier struggles to stay aloft, its head pleads for “safe corridor” travel – but US travelers may not be on the list

July 5, 2020

In an editorial published on June 30 in the Globe and Mail, Air Canada CEO, Calvin Rovinescu made a plea for his country’s border restrictions to ease, allowing Air Canada to fly travelers from “select countries with infection rates under control” into Canada.

“We are now entering a new phase, one in which we must find a responsible way to co-exist with COVID-19 until a vaccine is developed,” Rovinescu said.

Rovinescu argued that Air Canada had not received the tens of billions of dollars in support that other carriers are getting and that “we need to be permitted to prudently do some business, in the way airlines in other countries are.”

This week, Air Canada announced the possible permanent closure of 30 existing domestic routes and the shuttering of eight stations at regional airports.

The CEO’s comment on “select countries with infection rates under control” would likely not include travelers from the US. Canada has extended land border and air and sea border restrictions on US citizens until July 21 and possibly longer.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opened a small loophole earlier in June to allow immediate family members of Canadians (mother, siblings, etc.) to cross but currently there are no plans to allow other Americans to enter Canada for non-essential business.

US travelers were told this week that they were temporarily banned from travel to the EU.

Although New York State, the original epicenter of the US outbreak has seen lowered COVID-19 rates, other areas of the country that had opened earlier like Florida, Texas and California have seen an uptick in reported cases and hospitalizations.