From December, air carrier Pascon Aviation will reduce the number of its frequent flights and eliminate some profitable services.
In a document obtained by Radio-Canada, Paskan informed his employees that he was forced to take action.
Temporary or permanent layoffs As well as payroll adjustment to guarantee the sustainability of its operations.
To explain the decision, the carrier cited the end of a Quebec government assistance program for maintaining essential regional air services and significant labor costs.
The program, which was first implemented during the pandemic to provide services to communities in remote areas, was extended last spring before ending on September 30.
The economic update presented in Quebec on Tuesday offered no envelope for its recovery.
Those whose final destination is the Magdalen Islands, Anticosti Island, Lower North Shore, Fermont, Schefferville or the Nord-du-Quebec region are eligible for this program.
source : Ministry of Transport and Mobility Stable
However, Pascon did not specify which areas would be affected by this reduction in service.
Clip carrier wings
Joel Arceneau, Îles-de-la-Madeleine MP and transport spokesman for the Parti Québécois, condemned the government’s decision not to extend the program once again.
[Le gouvernement] This will cause an absolutely devastating situation for the areas served by PASCON, who will see their service completely abandoned or significantly reducedHe manages.
The government is clearly causing the crisis by pulling the rug out from under the feet of regional carriers operating services at arm’s length.
Joel Arsenault is the Parti Québécois MP for the Magdalen Islands. (archive photo)
Photo: Radio-Canada / Sylvain Roy Roussel
Madelinot MP reiterated that the regions depend on air service especially in terms of health.
Medicines, medical supplies, patients and healthcare professionals are transported. That’s the basis. There is also an economic lever that represents air transport. Here we are incognito. We don’t know what services we will be eligible for in the coming monthsHe insisted.
Joel Arceneau criticized the government for focusing only on stimulating demand for air transportation services with the Regional Air Access Program (PAAR), a $500 ticket program criticized by many elected officials.
Already the [PAAR] He said it was a bitter failure, but the government decided to cut the sole assistance program to maintain essential regional air services. It was an absolutely catastrophic series of events and the government clipped the wings of the carriers.
He urged the government to reverse its decision not to renew the assistance program for maintaining essential regional air services and demanded the intervention of the Standing Committee on Regional Air Transport.
A critical file
The president of the intermunicipal authority of the Mont-Joli airport, Bruno Paradis, for his part, called for the establishment of a new long-term aid program.
The issue of air transport is complex and unique, he says. But if we want anything constructive in the long term, we need long-term programs tailored to the needs of communities and transporters.
Bruno Paradis, President of the Intermunicipal Management of the Mont-Joli Regional Airport (archive photo)
Photo: Radio-Canada / Jean-Luc Blanchet
According to him, current financial programs do not allow carriers to ensure the stability of their services or consumers to regain some confidence in the reliability of these services.
The solutions include a’s and we have already named themConfirmed by Bruno Paradis, who already spoke on the matter last January.
We hate to see a solution that seems to come out of a hat and magically solve the situation, when in reality it’s just wishful thinking.He adds.
Mr. Paradis indicates that he did not receive a signal indicating that the connection to Mont-Joli airport had been lost.
At the time of publishing this text, Pascon management as well as the Office of the Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility did not respond to our interview requests.