Yukon’s aviation sector will receive $3.56 million in support to help compensate for lost revenues as a result of COVID-19.
The government will flow federal funding to aviation businesses to support critical and essential routes and the transportation of vital supplies. The $3.56 million in funding is Yukon’s portion of Government of Canada support announced on April 14.
Of this funding, $1.1 million will be directed to Air North over three months to ensure the continued operation of critical routes to the North. These routes ensure scheduled delivery of medical samples, supplies and critical front line staff to Yukon.
Yukon aviation businesses will benefit from the waiving of commercial fees. When coupled with the previously announced waiver of aviation landing, parking and loading fees, these changes will save aviation businesses approximately $780,000. The new fee waivers include:
* land lease and licence fees;
* building lease and licence fees;
* air terminal building concession fees;
* aircraft fuel lease and licence fees;
* aircraft fuel concession fees;
* parking stall fees; and
* service recoveries like charges for electricity.
These fees are waived from April 1 until December 31, 2020.
Yukon’s airlines are critical to our northern lifestyle. They connect our communities, safely get us to medical services, transport much needed goods and support our economy. This funding will ensure critical medical cargo, including COVID-19 tests, continues to be sent to and from the territory. Airlines have been deeply impacted by this pandemic and we are glad to provide some support at this time.
Minister of Highways and Public Works Richard Mostyn
All Yukon businesses have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. With our year over year traffic down by 96% in April, we have had to reduce capacity drastically, while still maintaining a minimum level of essential service to the communities we serve. We have also had to slash our overhead costs in order to stem losses. We are very thankful for the help provided by both the Yukon Government and the Federal Government under the Commercial Fee Waiver Program, the Yukon Business Relief Program, the Northern Essential Air Services Relief Program, and the 75% Wage Subsidy Program. Together these programs will help see us through to better times.
Air North, Yukon’s Airline President Joseph Sparling
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are looking at very low traffic this year which will have a dramatic impact on Yukon’s aviation industry. Our association represents aviation companies across the north and we are seeing firsthand the impact this pandemic is having on northern and remote aviation operators. This government support will help businesses through this crisis so that we can continue to provide valuable transportation services in the future.
Northern Air Transportation Industry President Wendy Tayler
The aviation industry has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 public health crisis with passenger traffic dropping almost 90 per cent nationally.
Air North will be the primary beneficiary of this funding. This funding will support five weekly flights to Vancouver and three on their northern route that services Dawson and Old Crow.