(Air Canada)

Air Canada announced Tuesday that they will be offering refunds for flights cancelled due to COVID-19, dating back to February 1st, 2020.

The new policy includes customers with non-refundable fares who either voluntarily cancelled their travel or whose flights were cancelled.

Refund options will also be offered as of April 13th for customers who purchase non-refundable fares and experience a cancellation or flight rescheduling exceeding three hours.

“Customers can now submit refund requests online or through their travel agent and we are committed to processing refunds as fast as possible,” said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada.

“This new policy will provide more certainty and flexibility, so customers can book their future travel with greater confidence and we look forward to welcoming you back on board.”

Customers also have the option to accept a transferable voucher with no expiry date, or to convert the value of their ticket to Aeroplan points with a 65 per cent bonus.

Those who already accepted these options can also exchange them for a refund to the original form of payment. Partial refunds will also be provided if a portion of a voucher was used.

Air Canada says they have refunded more than $1.2 billion to customers with refundable tickets since March 2020.

Refund requests can be submitted online at www.aircanada.com/refund until June 12th, 2021. The policy also applies to Air Canada Vacations packages.

Bookings made through a travel agency can only be refunded through that travel agent. Air Canada says they will not be recalling agency sales commissions on refunded tickets.

The news follows an announcement on Monday that Air Canada will be entering into an agreement with the Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation (CEEFC) that will provide the airline with access to approximately $4 billion in loans.

The funding includes $1.5 billion as a secured loan and $2.475 billion in unsecured loans.

An additional $1.4 billion in repayable loans is also being provided by CEEFC to Air Canada to finance its refund program.

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