The operators of the Alouette aluminum smelter in Sept-Iles, upset by repeated flight cancellations, called Air Canada. Reliability of air service creates financial losses and becomes a major problem for the aluminum smelter.
“What Air Canada is doing with the regions right now is a little sad,” said Charles-André Nadeau, vice-president of finance and administration at Aluminieri Alouette.
The businessman lost track of the number of flight cancellations that resulted in lost time and productivity. The aluminum smelter’s European shareholders have already crossed the ocean unnecessarily since their flight to Sept-Ills was cancelled.
“They did Austria-Montreal, they met in teams and went back to Austria because the planes couldn’t get there. The reasons, we don’t know, but this time, obviously, it’s not the temperature”, denounced Mr. Nadeau.
Smelter subcontractors regularly suffer the consequences of canceled flights.
“There are costs associated with that and it’s not efficient for our processes,” the leader continued.
According to Charles-André Naudeau, the low frequency of flights leads to unacceptable delays for business people.
“My Thursday night flight from Montreal was canceled and the flight I was offered was Monday.”
Alouette Aluminum Smelter, the largest private employer in September-Ills, sent a letter to Air Canada in early March in which it expresses its dissatisfaction and confirms that the current situation will significantly affect its business.
Via email, Christophe Hennebelle, Air Canada’s vice-president of communications, spoke with Alouette’s vice-president on Wednesday afternoon to confirm that efforts are ongoing to address operational challenges.
The finance minister shared the general displeasure with Air Canada.
“I think Air Canada has made it clear that it’s not interested in regional transportation. We have to find an alternative, that’s clear,” Pierre Fitzgibbon said on Tuesday.
He makes a tough announcement about airline services, but relies on the Standing Working Committee on Regional Air Transport, in which Air Canada participates.
“There may be airlines that want to offer additional services that we can help financially. We should use existing companies,” the minister said.