President's Message to ATAC Members

On February 12, the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) sent a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking him to consider all Canadian air carriers in the Government's decision to grant, or not, the relief sought by Air Canada on its Defined Benefits Pension Plan Deficit obligations. On February 26, ATAC issued a press release revealing that it had asked the Canadian Government to promote a level playing field in Canadian commercial aviation with regards to this subject.

Unfortunately, our undertaking was perceived by some as an affront to Air Canada and to its right to appeal to the government for help. That clearly was not our intention. Our message addressed to the Prime Minister was seeking a level playing field for our industry but in no way were we intending any harmful effects to anyone.

We sincerely regret if the intent of our action was misconstrued by some members of the Canadian aviation community, or the public at large, or in fact has had any detrimental impact due to anything we have stated in our recent communications including the recently released Wings article, which had in fact been written long before we fully understood the possible unintended consequences.

In view of the fact that it is now clear there was a lack of general member consensus with regards to the position ATAC initially took to the Federal Government, ATAC has subsequently written to the Prime Minister and withdrawn our opposition to the Air Canada request and apologized for any confusion our letter may have caused.


John McKenna

Air Transport Association of Canada