Air Canada on March 22 announced, that in the last week, it has transported more than 200,000 Canadians back home through its regularly scheduled operations across its international and U.S. network. The airline plans to operate more than 300 flights until the end of March from international destinations and more than 850 from the U.S., which collective are expected to bring hundreds of thousands of more Canadians to return home.
Air Canada in particular points to a special flight, in collaboration with the Government of Canada, completed on March 21 in which a widebody aircraft, with 450 seats, brought 444 Canadians from Casablanca, Morocco to Montreal. The airline on March 22 announced it would operate two more such flights out of Morocco on March 23 and 25.
“We are working extremely hard 24/7 to bring thousands of Canadians home safely from around the world and we will continue to do so,” said Calin Rovinescu, president and CEO, Air Canada. “Our priority at this time is to ensure that we can repatriate as many people as possible. Both on our own and with the Government of Canada and foreign authorities, we are working to organize these massively complex operations in the current global crisis.”
Global Affairs Canada is coordinating local arrangements for Canadians wishing to return home on these special flights. Canadians abroad are being encouraged to register with Global Affairs Canada.
“The COVID 19 pandemic has created an unprecedented crisis in the global aviation industry that is already having a significant impact on the air transport industry, travellers, shippers and the economy,” said Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport. “Right now, our priority is to help Canadians who are abroad to return to Canada. The Government of Canada is working with Air Canada to bring Canadians home from locations that are particularly challenging.”