Labrador Chambers Concerned with Air Canada’s Reduction in Service, Recovery of Labrador’s Economy

Category: In The News

Jul 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JULY 14, 2020

 Labrador Chambers Concerned with Air Canada’s Reduction in Service, Recovery of Labrador’s Economy

 

Together the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce (LNCC) and Labrador West Chamber of Commerce (LWC) are expressing their disappointment and concern with Air Canada’s decision to indefinitely suspend 30 flight routes and close eight regional airports across Canada.

Both Chambers are concerned with the closure of the Wabush Station and cancellation of interprovincial routes to-and-from Goose Bay including Deer Lake, Gander, St. John’s and Wabush.

“While we recognize the impact COVID-19 has had on many industries, we are very concerned with Air Canada’s closure of the Wabush Station, as well as the cancellation of service between Labrador and the island portion of the province,” says LNCC Chairperson Andy Turnbull. “Given the business partnerships that exist across the province, this reduction in service will undoubtedly result in a slower economic rebound. This decision will have long-term impacts on the recovery of businesses across Newfoundland and Labrador.”

A reliable air transportation network is required for business travel, access to medical travel for special health services, the development and growth of the tourism industry, as well as further development of the mining sector. The cancellation of flights will cause hardship financially for both businesses and residents. There will be a high demand for the limited seats available and most likely price increases.

“With the closure of Wabush Station and indefinite suspension of Air Canada services, these concerns now create a barrier for future growth and attraction of the mining industry within Labrador City-Wabush,” says LWC Chairperson Toby Leon. “This decision impedes economic development and will cause recruitment and retention issues for employers in the region.”

Labrador’s remote communities also depend heavily on its transportation networks for business, personal and medical travel.

“Remote communities in Labrador depend on a reliable transportation network from a goods and services perspective, as well as for business, personal and emergency travel,” says Turnbull. “Travel will now be infinitely more complicated and expensive for those who reside in these remote locations and require access to services in other areas of the province.”

As always, the Chambers are interested and available to work with regional carriers such as Air Canada, as well as PAL Airlines who continues to serve its customers in communities throughout Labrador, the island, Quebec and New Brunswick. The Labrador North and Labrador West Chambers are available to develop a collective plan to support and encourage return to travel for businesses and residents throughout Labrador.

“The Labrador North and Labrador West Chambers of Commerce recognize the impact COVID-19 has had on all Canadian businesses including airlines, and we urge all levels of governments to recognize and drive the rapid recovery of critical transportation links throughout Canada and abroad,” says Leon.

The Labrador North and Labrador West Chambers of Commerce are strongly encouraging Air Canada to reconsider the closure of the Wabush Station and resume interprovincial routes as soon as deemed feasible.

– 30 –

Contacts:

Julianne Griffin, Chief Executive Officer
Labrador North Chamber of Commerce
(709) 896-8787
[email protected]
Brenda Armstrong, Interim Manager
Labrador West Chamber of Commerce
(709) 944-3723
[email protected] 

 

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