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The airline’s executive vice-president and chief operating officer’s remarks were widely criticised on Twitter
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Canada’s biggest airline has been under fire on Twitter after it celebrated the end of Covidtravel restrictions in the country by saying the rules were “not justified by science”.
In a statement last week, Air Canada said the Covid travel restrictions put in place by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were “not justified science.” They issued the statement after the government announced that their existing Covid rules were being scrapped.
“Air Canada welcomes the removal of these restrictions, acknowledging that air travel is safe and that the measures were not justified by science,” said Craig Landry, the airline’s executive vice-president and chief operating officer.
Providing no basis for his claims, Mr Landry continued by saying that relaxation in travel rules “will greatly facilitate travel, help to continue stabilising the country’s air transport sector and support Canada’s economy.”
The remarks went viral over the weekend following a report by news website True North, prompting many Canadians on Twitter to condemn the airline.
“The people who can’t manage luggage, fares, boarding, or taking off on time, ever, are suddenly infectious disease experts,” wrote former radio personality Dean Blundell. “That checks out. Air Canada is a joke”.
“We really need high speed rail,” added the Vice President of the Eurasia Group, Gerald Butts in a tweet. “Air Canada is the number 1 reason we don’t have it. Regulatory capture, but the polite version because we’re Canadian”.
Podcast host Norma Wilner meanwhile added: “I’m suddenly very curious to know what Air Canada thinks IS justified by science.”
“Air Canada says masking requirements are ;not justified by science.’ I’m guessing they’re referring to the ‘science’ of economics. The drive for profit continues to put more lives at risk,” a fourth person added.
Air Canada has come under criticism online
In a statement shared via email with The Independent, Air Canada emphasised that their initial statement about welcoming the removal of restrictions was “referring to various changes enacted by the government Oct. 1, including those for random testing, quarantine, use of ArriveCan, and mandatory mask wearing.”
“Such measures are not now applied to most other activities worldwide and this is accepted as safe. We also in the release invite employees and customers who still wish to wear masks to continue do so, and we further advise those feeling unwell not to travel for the safety of our employees and other customers,” the statement continued.
The restrictions enforced by Canada’s government before 1 October included a requirement that travellers be vaccinated against Covid before landing in the country, as well as rules on face masks onboard flights.
While the country has been later than European states to allow unvaccinated airline passengers to enter, Canada made the move ahead of the US, where levels of vaccination against the disease are considerably lower, figures compiled by The New York Times show.
Mr Landry said in his statement that Air Canada’s “Customers and crew will still have the option to wear masks and we also encourage customers to monitor their own health to be sure they feel well and fit to travel”.
Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of both face masks and vaccine for preventing the spread and worst effects of Covid, which has killed more than 1 million in the US and over 45,000 in Canada, according to Times figures.
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Air Canada has come under criticism online
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Air Canada has come under criticism online
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