Surrey Board of Trade Calls for Comprehensive Support and Plan for Air Transportation Industry

The air transportation industry has been one of the hardest hit industry sectors during the pandemic. The impacts are evident in both business and leisure transportation flights.

“The air transportation industry has received some support that is available to all businesses, however, it hasn’t received support that takes into consideration the specific nature of its operations. There is a need for a long-term strategy,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade

“The airline industry has been devastated as a result of the pandemic, with uncoordinated responses and limited engagement. Other countries have implemented various mechanisms that allow for the airline industry to survive and be ready for increased demands once it is safe to travel.”

“Many nations in Europe are implementing rapid testing at airports and providing substantial information on the efficacy of testing and quarantining,” stated Anita Huberman. “Canada has made no such report available. The United Kingdom will be providing an overview of their reopening strategy that includes a plan on how to ease travel restrictions. No such plan exists in Canada.”

We will see an increase in travel demand as more people become vaccinated. There needs to be an adequate number of airlines to keep up with this demand, or else we will see higher costs to consumers due to the lack of supply.

If Canada does not want to miss out on much needed travel revenue, a long-term strategy is of utmost importance. Additionally, financial support to the valuable air transportation sector is needed. Some airlines have shut down service to and from various remote and rural regions throughout Canada. Once travel begins, there are fears that these airlines will not return. Incentivizing airlines to return to these locations is integral to any plan that is formulated.

The Surrey Board of Trade recommends that the Federal Government:

1.     Work with the air travel industry, Provinces and Territories to create a consistent domestic travel plan by developing criteria that signals the time for safe travel within the country, including metrics on how many people have been vaccinated in regions throughout the country;

2.     Implement national arrival and departure testing protocols by building upon Calgary’s pilot program and learning from international examples;

3.     Incentivize airlines to service rural and remote communities;

4.     Provide substantial funds for airlines and airports akin to the system in place in the United States; and,

5.     Implement a globally consistent vaccine passport strategy.



Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342,