Quebec aerospace sector seeks federal financial boost to help weather COVID-19 storm
MONTREAL – The Quebec aerospace sector has a recipe for weathering the severe turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but one of the ingredients is still missing: a financial boost from Ottawa.
Although federal Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly says she wants to preserve the “attractiveness” of this industry, it is unknown if funding called for by many participants will soon be announced.
Asked about the unveiling of an action plan to support the aerospace and aviation sectors, prepared jointly by Aero Montreal and the Montreal Board of Trade, Joly underlined the difficulties but gave no assurances.
Since the onset of COVID-19, some 4,300 jobs have been lost in the Quebec aerospace industry while the pain has been felt by many companies, such as Bombardier Inc., Pratt & Whitney Canada and Airbus Canada.
While the document released Monday presents many possible solutions, it seeks “robust and rapid intervention,” not only for manufacturing companies, but also for airlines and airports.
In order to help Quebec maintain its third place internationally in aerospace, the report suggests investing in research and development projects, in particular for a “green” aircraft, and resuming domestic and international flights in a “safe” manner.