July 12, 2007
A federal watchdog has put the bite on Air Canada's plan to stop carrying pets as checked baggage on trans-border and international passenger flights.
The Canadian Transportation Agency said yesterday that as the result of a formal complaint it received last month, it has suspended the airline's application to discontinue its practice of transporting animals in the hold on flights to the United States and other destinations abroad, which was set to take effect on Sunday.
The move would have left owners of dogs and cats with the sole option of shipping them on cargo planes.
Both Air Canada and the complainant have been asked to make submissions on the matter, CTA spokesman Jadrino Huot said. The agency acts as a quasi-judicial body that rules on formal complaints against an airline.
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"At the end of the day, the agency will determine if Air Canada's proposed application to discontinue carriage of pets as checked baggage is just, reasonable and not unduly discriminatory," he said.
Mr. Huot said the agency lacks the jurisdiction to suspend an application for flights within Canada before that decision comes down.