OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — The federal government is trying to bring Canadians home and relieve some travellers stranded abroad who have struggled to find a way back as borders close and airlines cut flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to Canadians outside of Rideau Cottage Saturday morning and said the federal government is working to make flights accessible for all Canadians.
“We’re working with Canadian airlines to make commercial flights available for as many Canadians who are stranded as possible. We will also be working with other countries to ensure that our airlines have the permissions and other supports necessary to fly,” Trudeau tells reporters.
Trudeau says the first flights are leaving Morocco this weekend.
Earlier this week, Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu said the carrier is “working around the clock” with Ottawa to return residents to Canadian soil.
Potential flights will also be sent to Peru and Spain.
Trudeau adds other countries will be announced as soon as possible and admits the federal government won’t be able to get to everyone.
If you are still abroad, whether for work or travel, make sure you register with Global Affairs: https://t.co/rJZaZNjVRw
If you need emergency assistance: https://t.co/Qk0Gi1x6Ph
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) March 21, 2020
The Prime Minister also adds Canadians stuck in remote areas are better off staying put for now and is urging Canadians currently stuck in foreign countries to make safe decisions.
He says, stay in touch with Global Affairs and do not head to airports unless they have a confirmed seat on a flight back.
The federal government will pay extra costs for the airline, but Canadians returning home will pay for tickets at a “responsible price.”
-With files from The Canadian Press