Prof. Marion Joppe
Prof. Marion Joppe

With one of Canada’s largest airlines announcing the suspension of flights out of Toronto for the rest of the winter and Canadians cancelling planned trips because of tough new travel rules, are Canada’s airlines in danger of collapse?

According to a researcher with the University of Guelph’s School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management, Canada depends on its airlines.

Dr. Marion Joppe researches many aspects of the travel industry, including motivations for travel and the economic, social and environmental impacts of the tourism industry.

She said Canada’s airlines have watched cancellations pile up since the federal government imposed new rules requiring those flying into Canada to provide proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test result. Bookings have also slowed since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his government is working on new, even tougher travel restrictions.

Joppe said airlines have been particularly hard hit by this crisis but that Canada needs airlines to survive because our country is so vast and many areas depend on airlines.

“We need airlines to connect communities,” she said. “We also rely on our airlines to ship cargo across our vast country, so we really can’t allow our airlines to fail.”

Air Canada in particular moves much of the cargo that keeps important supply chains going, she noted.

Joppe welcomes new travel restrictions, as the ones brought in up to now have been so “half-hearted” that many Canadians have chosen to flout the stay-at-home orders and quarantine requirements. The scope of the problem is not even fully understood which is “very frustrating,” she said, because no one is keeping track of whether Canadians are  travelling for pleasure or for essential reasons.

Joppe discussed the issue recently with Zoomer Radio.

She is available for interviews.


Prof. Marion Joppe