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Air Canada has bought an fairness stake to the Canadian authorities and agreed to a sequence of commitments together with refunds to prospects, sustaining jobs and a cap on senior govt compensation in change for a multi-billion greenback federal help bundle.

The nationwide service mentioned in an announcement on Monday night it might be allowed entry to as much as C$5.89bn ($4.69bn) in liquidity by way of the short-term loans programme arrange by the Trudeau authorities to help massive Canadian employers.

The settlement ends months of negotiations between the federal government and Air Canada over a coronavirus help bundle, however comes greater than a 12 months after the US provided help to its airline industry. Discussions with rival Canadian carriers over comparable potential packages are persevering with, transport minister Omar Alghabra mentioned throughout a press convention.

The bundle consists of a sequence of debt and fairness agreements, together with the federal government taking a C$500m stake within the Toronto-listed service, which had a market capitalisation of about C$9bn on Monday.

In change for the federal government loans, Air Canada has agreed to a number of commitments together with providing refunds to prospects whose tickets had been cancelled as a result of pandemic. As much as C$1.4bn within the type of an unsecured credit score facility has been made accessible to help paying these refunds.

The airline mentioned it had additionally agreed to “limiting sure expenditures, and limiting dividends, share buybacks and senior govt compensation.”

Air Canada has additionally dedicated to sustaining “employment at ranges which aren’t decrease than these at April 1, 2021” and agreed to respect collective bargaining agreements and defend staff’ pensions. The corporate has nearly 15,000 lively workers.

As a part of the bundle situations, the airline will resume service, or enable entry to the service’s community, for almost all regional communities the place routes had been suspended as a result of pandemic. The corporate has additionally agreed to finish the previously-planned buy of 33 Airbus A220 plane, manufactured in Quebec, and an present agency order of 40 Boeing 737 Max plane.

Michael Rousseau, chief govt, mentioned the liquidity programme introduced as we speak supplied “a big layer of insurance coverage” for the airline and would allow it to “higher resolve buyer refunds of non-refundable tickets, keep our workforce and re-enter regional markets.” The airline had beforehand raised C$6.8bn in liquidity from its personal sources “to maintain us by way of the pandemic”, he mentioned.

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