Air Canada President and CEO Robert Milton Comments On U.S. Government Airline Assistance Package

Air Canada President and CEO Robert Milton
today commented on the announcement by United States Transportation Secretary
Norman Mineta that the Bush Administration would be preparing a legislative
package in the coming days to assist the U.S. airline industry following last
week`s terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

“The terrorist attacks in the United States last week have devastated the
airline industry,” said Milton. “Full service North American carriers have
already begun to feel the dramatic downturn in traffic and revenues since the
attacks and the challenges going forward are bound to be great.”

“The Bush administration has recognized the need to quickly stabilize the
airline industry following last week`s unfortunate events. This type of action
will give the U.S. carriers an advantage over Canadian carriers if similar
assistance is not forthcoming to maintain a level playing field among North
American carriers.”

“With more than 50 per cent of our revenues dependent on the Canada-U.S.
transborder and international markets, Air Canada is significantly exposed to
the downturn in the U.S. marketplace. We are working closely with the Canadian
government to ensure a safe, financially sound and competitive global airline
for Canada moving forward,” Milton added.

Milton confirmed ongoing discussions with the Minister of Transport, the
Honourable David Collenette on the financial health of the industry. He added
that the preliminary cost of last week`s three-day service disruption to Air
Canada is at this stage estimated to be in the $100 million range.

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