Corporate Canada joins travel industry's push to ease COVID-19 air curbs

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) - A group of 27 leading executives added to calls for Canada to ease coronavirus-led air restrictions in a letter published in the country’s Globe and Mail newspaper on Thursday.

The move lends support to the travel industry’s push to relax air curbs as most international flights to and from Canada remain canceled.

The executives, including the CEO of the largest Canadian lender Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and provincial premiers to "find a responsible way to co-exist with COVID-19 until there is a vaccine."

Air Canada's Chief Executive Officer Calin Rovinescu AC.TO and the tourism industry group Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable last week urged the government to lift travel restrictions in an open letter. (

The signatories from Thursday's ad included heads of Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd FFH.TO, WestJet Airlines Ltd WJA.TO Canadian National Railway Co CNR.TO, Rogers Communications Inc RCIb.TO and Enbridge Inc ENB.TO.

“This includes prudently and thoughtfully opening aviation and lifting restrictions to safely resume travel throughout all provinces of Canada, as well as from select countries,” the executives said in the ad.

“Air travel is not only important for tourism - it is also critical for the entire Canadian economy,” their message added.

Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.