P.E.I. premier continues calls for federal aid to air-travel industry

P.E.I. Premier Dennis King says he plans to continue to push for specific support for the air-travel industry after WestJet announced flight suspensions across the Atlantic region.King met Friday with Doug Newson, CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority, and also spoke with Dominic LeBlanc, the federal minister of intergovernmental affairs, according to a news release.Those discussions follow a decision by WestJet earlier this week to suspend flights in and out of P.E.I. by Nov. 2. The move is part of sweeping reductions in service across Atlantic Canada, as the airline grapples with financial pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic.The Charlottetown airport is now left with one airline, Air Canada, offering about 10 flights a week total to Montreal and Toronto. Eight employees were placed on temporary layoff.King said he told LeBlanc any further delays in support for airlines will result in further reductions in Atlantic Canada, the release said.The premier is calling for a "significant, dedicated federal support program to assist airlines as they deal with drastic decreases in passenger travel," the release said. King also urged LeBlanc to expedite a federal support package for the tourism sector, according to the statement.According to the release, King told Newson he is committed to working with the Charlottetown Airport Authority to ensure access to regional, national and international markets as part of the province's COVID-19 recovery.King plans to mention both issues with the prime minister this evening during the first ministers teleconference.More from CBC P.E.I.

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