Unifor national president Jerry Dias speaks during a press conference in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Dias says Air Canada is pledging passenger refunds as negotiations over federal aid for airlines drag on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin

Unifor national president Jerry Dias speaks during a press conference in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Dias says Air Canada is pledging passenger refunds as negotiations over federal aid for airlines drag on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin

Unifor president says Air Canada pledging passenger refunds as aid negotiations drag on

Ottawa has put reimbursement of travellers on the table in exchange for financial relief for airlines

Unifor president Jerry Dias says Air Canada is promising to refund passengers whose flights were cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dias says the airline has made the commitment repeatedly during negotiations with the federal government over an aid package for the battered sector.

He says he spoke with Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau last night, confirming the pledge.

Dias says roughly 4,000 of the union’s 15,000 aviation workers remain fully employed a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, lending urgency to discussions in Ottawa.

Air Canada and the Finance Department did not respond immediately to questions about the refund commitment.

Ottawa has put reimbursement of travellers on the table as a key demand in exchange for financial relief for airlines, on top of asking carriers to maintain regional routes.

ALSO READ: WestJet to lay off undisclosed number of pilots amid labour negotiations

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