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Aviation expert warns new travel restrictions could bankrupt airlines

Flights to Caribbean, Mexico halted until April 30


TORONTO — An aviation consultant warns that tougher travel restrictions announced today could have devastating ripple effects across Canada’s airline industry.

Robert Kokonis, founder and managing director of aviation consulting firm AirTrav Inc., says the restrictions will trigger reorganization among the country’s air carriers, including bankruptcies or outright failures.

The effects will also hurt airports, as well as travel agents, hundreds or thousands of whom could be put out of business, Kokonis says.

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Kokonis’ comments come as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces that airlines have reached an agreement with the government to halt flights to the Caribbean and Mexico until April 30.

The government will also require entrants to Canada to quarantine in a hotel on arrival, costing them more than $2,000, Trudeau says.

Kokonis says it is disappointing for the industry that Trudeau had no announcement about sector-specific aid for airlines to go along with the new restrictions.