Lorraine Richard Says $500 Plane Tickets Are 'Fakes'

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Lorraine Richard says $500 plane tickets are “window dressing”

MP Lorraine Richard would have preferred that the government subsidize the Cooperative de transport régional du Québec (TREQ), rather than the current air carriers.

The $500 tickets put in place by the François Legault government do nothing to improve service on the North Shore, according to the PQ member for Duplessis, Lorraine Richard.

Delays, cancellations and insufficient frequency of flights, the real needs of our populations have really not been considered, she laments. In particular, the routes offered by the airlines would not be adapted to the needs experienced by the citizens of the regions, whether professional or medical.

“The CAQ government has chosen to offer smoke and mirrors to its citizens.

— PQ MNA for Duplessis, Lorraine Richard.

Between June 8 and 29, 11 flights departing from Sept-Îles were canceled and 10 took off, according to FlightAware. For those departing from Montreal with Sept-Îles as their destination, 12 were canceled and only 8 took off according to the same source. Air travel is a brake on our economic development, says Ms. Richard.

If the provincial government's policies on aviation are not working, according to the MP, it must be understood that the crisis that the airline industry is currently experiencing is international in scope. At least that's what Mehran Ebrahimi, director of the International Observatory of Aeronautics and Civil Aviation, at UQAM, points out. According to him, the shortage of pilots and flight attendants was already observable before 2020. The massive layoff of aviation employees during the pandemic only made matters worse.

Interview with Mehran Ebrahimi, director of the Observatory of Aeronautics and Civil Aviation.

Where we are at fault Notably, during the pandemic, the federal government has not thought about supporting airports and airlines to retain staff, Ebrahimi suggests.

“Due to the labor shortage, the laid-off employees had no difficulty finding a new job. They are now beyond the reach of the aviation industry. »

— Mehran Ebrahimi, director of the International Observatory of Aeronautics and Civil Aviation, UQAM.

In the short term, according to Mr. Ebrahimi, canceling and postponing flights is the only solution to relieve the air network, and remote areas are paying the price. In a crisis, airlines generally prioritize the most profitable flights, he explains, and that does not include those to the North Shore.

Mehran Ebrahimi, Director of the International Observatory of Aeronautics and Civil Aviation.

According to MP Lorraine Richard, it has nothing to do with what happens at the airports in Montreal or Toronto. According to her, the problems affecting national and international air transport do not hold water in the region. Go to the airports of Baie-Comeau and Sept-Îles, there is no shortage of baggage handlers or people at the counter! she exclaims.

She for her part would have liked the government not to subsidize the air carriers and instead to grant a loan of $ 4 million to a cooperative, she says by via press release.

The Cooperative de transport régional du Québec (TREQ) has posed as an alternative to the model of the already existing airlines. Last February, the Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, however, issued reservations about TREQ's business plan. However, according to the MP, Mr. Fitzgibbon never took the time to observe the Cooperative project as such. There is no one in government who wanted to sit down with people from the regions.

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