A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Canadians are awaiting details on Air Canada’s plans for ticket refunds after the airline reached a deal for $5.9B in federal aid. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Canadians are awaiting details on Air Canada’s plans for ticket refunds after the airline reached a deal for $5.9B in federal aid. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Air Canada refunds en route after $5.9B deal for federal government aid

The company posted a staggering $1.16-billion loss in the fourth quarter of last year

Canadians are awaiting details on Air Canada’s plans for ticket refunds after the airline reached a deal for $5.9B in federal aid.

As part of the package Air Canada has agreed to refund passengers whose flights were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cap executive compensation at $1 million and restore service to regional airports.

Some $1.4 billion of the government loans is earmarked to help reimburse the thousands of customers who paid for tickets but remained in the lurch at the end of 2020.

The airline reported it held $2.3 billion in advance ticket sales during the fourth quarter of 2020 while thousands of would-be passengers who had already paid for tickets remained in the lurch.

The company posted a staggering $1.16-billion loss in the fourth quarter of last year, a result that caps off what the carrier’s CEO called the bleakest year in aviation history.

Air Canada has committed to resuming service at 13 regional airports as well as seven others through agreements with regional carriers.

READ MORE: Air Canada, Transat call off $190 million deal after European approval denied

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