June 14, 2024


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Quebec announces round-trip flights to province’s regions capped at $500

The Quebec federal government reported Tuesday it will cap the charge of aircraft tickets for all travel inside the province to the areas, as a way to raise tourism to rural regions found far from the large metropolitan areas.

Starting off June 1, anyone — citizens and people — travelling inside of Quebec will not have to fork out additional than $500 out of pocket for spherical-excursion tickets to locations these as the Gaspé peninsula, Transportation Minister François Bonnardel instructed reporters.

Talking at the Mont-Joli Regional Airport, about 570 kilometres northeast of Montreal, in the decreased St-Lawrence region, Bonnardel claimed the $500 cap on ticket charges also applies to visits that need connecting flights. The low cost, he added, will be utilized at the time of acquire and airways will be demanded to declare the change in cost from the government.

Questioned irrespective of whether airways would be incentivized to maximize their costs mainly because the federal government is subsidizing tickets, Bonnardel mentioned price ranges would be “negotiated annually” in accordance to the value of inflation. The government’s regional air transport plan, he said, is funded with $261 million around 5 several years.

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All Canadian carriers can participate in the plan but will have to provide destinations calendar year-round to qualify for the subsidy. For case in point, Bonnardel explained, Air Canada flights to the Îles-de-la-Madeleine wouldn’t be sponsored due to the fact the airline at the moment presents that route in the summer only.

The Transport Section did not specify how often a provider has to fly to a locale for the route to be considered 12 months-round.

Tourism Minister Caroline Proulx explained to reporters that the flight subsidy plan opens new alternatives for Quebecers to explore their province, particularly the regions that have trouble attracting tourism.

The opposition Parti Québécois, in the meantime, was skeptical of the government’s program and raised queries about the price tag of a single-way tickets and how taxes would be utilized in light-weight of the low cost. PQ transport critic Joël Arseneau also questioned the clear absence of circumstances for airways, other than providing 12 months-spherical flights.

“The frequency (of flights) that will be supplied? Will that alter? Will the seating potential improve in accordance to need?” Arseneau instructed a information meeting.

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Man Caron, mayor of Rimouski, Que., who is also aspect of the union of Quebec municipalities, welcomed the new application, noting that his association has extended identified as on the authorities to subsidize flights to the regions.

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The association that represents chambers of commerce across the province reported it was happy with the subsidy announcement but the government needs to make certain the routes continue being profitable for regional airlines that take part.

The Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec explained in a news launch that due to the vastness of Quebec’s territory, air travel continues to be the most effective alternative but the expenses are often high.

“What carriers want and need is volume in their aircraft,” association president Charles Milliard reported. “If they could decrease their costs on their own with out operating at a loss they would do so, but sad to say, this is not doable specified the fact of the market.

“This is why govt intervention is necessary so that Quebecers are additional inspired to use regional air transportation to achieve main centres or attain distant regions.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press