Air travel is essential to Canada’s economic growth and prosperity. Canadians, tourists and businesses all benefit from a safe, efficient and more transparent air industry. Buying tickets for air travel can be a big expense for Canadian families. When Canadians buy an airline ticket, they expect airlines to meet their obligations and deserve to be treated fairly.
The Honorable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, today announced that Canadians will begin to benefit from new Air Passenger Protection Regulations starting on July 15, 2019. The Canadian Transportation Agency’s final regulations are available now on their website.
The Transportation Modernization Act, which received Royal Assent in May 2018, mandated the Agency to develop regulations for air travellers that would be clear, consistent, transparent and fair. After months of public and stakeholder consultations, Canadians will soon be covered by robust new regulations that apply to all air carriers flying to, from and within Canada. These new regulations will require air carriers to proactively offer standards of treatment. Additionally, in some cases, carriers will be required to issue compensation to passengers within strict timelines. Passengers will not need to first complain to the Canadian Transportation Agency; instead, recourse is first dealt directly with the airline. Air carriers will be required to follow these regulations and could face fines of up to $25,000 per incident of non-compliance.
Following input received on the draft regulations, a phased-in approach will ensure air carriers have time to adjust to the new regulations. Requirements related to communication, tarmac delays, denied boarding, lost and damaged luggage, and the transportation of musical instruments will come into force on July 15, 2019. The more complex requirements related to flight delays and cancellations will come into force on December 15, 2019. The new regulations also take into account the realities of small and northern air carriers, as well as ultra-low cost carriers, with requirements adjusted accordingly.
“Our goal was to provide a world-leading approach to air passenger rights that would be predictable and fair for passengers, while ensuring our air carriers remain strong and competitive. After a long and thorough consultation process, I am proud to say these new regulations achieve that balance and will give air travelers the rights and treatment they pay for and deserve.”
The Honorable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport