Forward Regulatory Plan: 2021 to 2023 – Regulation on New Refund Requirements for Airlines

Enabling act(s)

Canada Transportation Act

Ministerial Direction


The Minister of Transport has given the CTA the authority, through a Ministerial Direction, to make a regulation to address a gap in the current air passenger protection framework by establishing an obligation for airlines to provide a refund when there is a flight cancellation, or a lengthy delay, for reasons outside of the airline’s control and the airline cannot complete the passenger’s itinerary within a reasonable time. This gap was highlighted by the mass flight cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

In developing this regulation, the CTA will consider the air passenger protection frameworks in the United States and the European Union.

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

These proposed regulations will have positive impacts on Canadians as it will ensure clear and consistent refund entitlements for air passengers and address the risk that some passengers could be left out-of-pocket for the cost of cancelled flights.

The impact on businesses has not yet been assessed.


Consultations on the specifics of this regulation were held from December 21, 2020 to March 1, 2021. The public and stakeholders will have an opportunity to comment on the draft regulation following its publication in Canada Gazette, Part I.

Publication in Part I of the Canada Gazette is expected in summer 2021.

Departmental contact

Allan Burnside
Senior Director
Analysis and Regulatory Affairs Directorate
Canadian Transportation Agency
Telephone: 819-953-3325

Date that the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan

January 2021

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