Judge Rules Air Canada Maintenance Must Stay in Canada
On Feb. 4, an opinion from the Quebec Superior Court held that Air Canada is required to keep maintenance work in Canada. Specifically, the court stated that the Air Canada Public Participation Act requires certain Air Canada maintenance operations to remain in Canada. As a result, it found that Air Canada’s recent contract for the performance of heavy aircraft maintenance checks in the United States violated the Canadian law.
The suit was brought by the Quebec government following the bankruptcy and subsequent closure of Canadian maintenance provider Aveos in early 2012. While Quebec argued that Air Canada violated the law, the carrier had obtained a previous legal opinion from the Canadian federal government signaling that the contracting could proceed.
Air Canada said it will appeal the Quebec Superior Court ruling. In the meantime, the Canadian government is considering changing the law to address the issues raised in the case.
This matter highlights the political challenges facing contract maintenance globally. Repair stations have made airlines more efficient and air travel safer, but governments are still adopting protectionist policies designed to make it more difficult to contract. ARSA will continue to monitor this case and potential legislative fall out.