Manitoba and federal governments partner for remote community air service funding

WINNIPEG —
The federal government is committing $12 million in new funding to support air services to remote Manitoba communities so airlines can continue bringing in essential supplies and services.

The funding will be distributed by the Manitoba government to airlines to address losses incurred during the period of July 1 to December 31, 2020.

“While we continue to work together to limit the spread of COVID-19, we must also ensure remote communities continue to have the air connectivity they need for essential goods and services, travel and business. This agreement with the Government of Manitoba will allow for reliable air services to keep remote communities in Manitoba connected to the rest of the country,” said Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, in a news release.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs welcomes the announcement, saying the investments will ensure airlines can continue uninterrupted service during the pandemic.

“We are at a very critical time in our north, and we must do all we can to ensure the safety of the First Nations citizens who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19,” said Grand Chief Arlen Dumas in a statement. “With this funding, the AMC looks forward to better safety measures and more accountability from some of the current air carriers that service Manitoba First Nations,” 

So far, five airlines in Manitoba have been approved for funding:

  • Amik Aviation – $710,978

  • Calm Air – $2,009,312

  • Missinippi Air – $967,049

  • Northway Aviation – $1,357,317

  • Perimeter Aviation – $6,986,344 

“I’m pleased the federal and provincial governments are partnering with our airlines to assist in mitigating losses to ensure they can continue to be there to support Manitobans as we weather the rest of the crisis,” said Mike Pyle, CEO of Exchange Income Corporation, which owns Perimeter Aviation and Calm Air, in a statement.

Additional government funding will depend on the needs of the communities and the rate of recovery for the airlines who travel into remote communities.