June 11, 2020 / 9:43 PM / a month ago

Air Canada CEO urges Trudeau's government to relax travel curbs: Bloomberg News

FILE PHOTO: A traveller passes a YYZ airport code sign in the international arrival lounge amid a growing global number of coronavirus cases at Pearson Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

(Reuters) - Air Canada Chief Executive Officer Calin Rovinescu on Thursday urged the Canadian government to relax travel restrictions as they have been hurting the company’s sales, Bloomberg News reported.

Rovinescu called the government's curbs on travelers "disproportionate" as the COVID-19 pandemic was easing in many parts of the country, the report said. (bloom.bg/2YpwXu2)

“Enable us to do some reasonable amounts of business,” he said, according to the report, while speaking on a webcast with publishing and event production company Aviation Week.

Rovinescu’s remarks were in the context of a letter sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from the Canadian travel and tourism industry, calling for a national plan to cut back pandemic travel restrictions, Air Canada said.

He is a signatory to the letter, which featured in the Globe and Mail newspaper on Thursday.

Canada and the United States are set to extend a ban on non-essential travel to late July as both countries seek to control the spread of the new coronavirus, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

Washington and Ottawa introduced month-long restrictions in March and renewed them in April and May. The ban, due to expire on June 21, does not affect trade.

Airlines, including Air Canada, have been among the worst hit as coronavirus-led travel bans resulted in thousands of flight cancellations, forcing carriers to cut jobs and costs as revenue dried up.

Rousseau said last month Air Canada was seeing fewer cancellations and an improvement in demand for air travel as lockdowns eased. Canada’s largest carrier has announced a summer schedule with nearly 100 destinations.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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