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Air Canada should improve its bilingual service, says official languages watchdog

Air Canada should make extra efforts to provide services in English and French wherever required, said Canada’s official languages watchdog in an audit report released recently.

Graham Fraser, Official Languages Commissioner, in his audit report said that Air Canada’s organizational leadership and culture need to make  required changes to bring convenience and ease to the traveling public, particularly where bilingual services are concerned.

According to the audit report carried over a 10-month period, the vast majority of airports seriously lacked in an active offer of bilingual services, and which were in fact nonexistent.

The report, however, said that Montréal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport was an exception where bilingual services were actively offered mostly.

Besides, the audit also revealed that bilingual services on board aircraft were not actively offered by flight attendants, who said that they waited first for the passengers to use language of their choice.

It is mandatory for Air Canada under current rules to actively offer services in both official languages – English and French – on board flights where the passenger demand is heavy. Air Canada has also to mandatorily provide active bilingual services on routes designated bilingual.

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