OTTAWA – The first free commercial flights to Canada for Ukrainian refugees offered through a fundraising drive involving Aeroplan points won’t be available until June.
The goal was to cover flights to bring at least 10,000 people fleeing from Russia’s invasion in Ukraine who were approved to come to Canada, and the free travel initiative was announced a month ago by Ottawa, in partnership with Air Canada and two charities.
The spots are in addition to targeted chartered flights to bring Ukrainians to Canada, announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this year.
On April 20, United States-based organization Miles4Migrants said it had expected flights to begin as early as May using the new fund, a partnership between the charity, The Shapiro Foundation and Air Canada, which owns the Aeroplan loyalty program.
The free flight program should now begin a few weeks later than expected, as of mid-June.
Andy Freedman, co-founder and board member of Miles4Migrants, says the charity wanted to ensure everything is in order before the program begins.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 18, 2022.
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