August 27, 1998
(Works, Services and Transportation)

Minister Receives Assurances From Inter-Canadien

Works, Services and Transportation Minister Lloyd Matthews, today brought some of the province's concerns regarding the impact of a new carrier for Canadian Airlines in Atlantic Canada, to Inter-Canadien co-owner Rob Myhill. "We had some concerns about the impact on employees and on air services in the province, following the announcement that Inter-Canadien will take over flight operations from Air Atlantic," said Mr. Matthews.

"Today I had the opportunity to speak with Inter-Canadien to discuss the presence of the new carrier in Newfoundland and Labrador. We received some assurances today from Inter-Canadien and we will continue to monitor the situation and maintain ongoing dialogue with all the parties affected by this announcement," he said.

Minister Matthews said Inter-Canadien has assured the province that the new carrier will continue to serve all airports in the province currently serviced by Air Atlantic. "In addition, I have also been advised that Inter-Canadien officials will be in the province next week to discuss arrangements for a third line carrier, similar to the arrangement currently in place between Air Atlantic and Air Labrador. We are pleased that all airports will continue to be serviced, however, we also want to ensure the service is maintained and we will work closely with Inter-Canadien to ensure schedules are in place which sufficiently meet the demands," he added.

"The potential for job losses of Air Atlantic employees based in this province is another serious concern for government," said Mr. Matthews. "We will do everything we can to minimize the impact on employees as a result of this change in carriers. I have been assured by Mr. Myhill that a number of pilots and flight attendants currently employed with Air Atlantic will be offered similar employment with Inter-Canadien. Mr. Myhill also assured me that Inter-Canadien will require airport personnel such as ticket agents, baggage handlers, gate attendants as well as ground crews for their operations in Atlantic Canada and most of the current employees on the ground will be retained either directly or contractually, through other arrangements."

Minister Matthews said he recognizes the uncertainty faced by many Air Atlantic employees and stated he will continue to monitor the situation closely and will maintain contact with Inter-Canadien on behalf of employees and residents of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Contact: Jill Sooley, (709) 729-3015.

1998 08 27 3:20 p.m.


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