Regional Air Access Program

In recent years, ticket prices for regional air routes have been relatively high due to low demand and long distances. Governmental intervention is therefore necessary to reduce the cost of air travel and to make this mode of transportation more accessible for travel to certain regions of Québec.

As a result, the Québec government has implemented the Regional Air Access Program (RAAP) which is divided into two components:

  • Component 1 - Airfare Reimbursement for Residents of Remote and Isolated Areas
    This component is designed for residents of an area covered by this component as well as for students who are enrolled full time at an educational institution outside the program areas and whose parents or legal guardians are residents of an area included in the program.
  • Component 2 - Set Maximum Airfare Pricing
    This component is designed for eligible air carriers to make affordable tickets available to all Quebecers.

Main changes

  • For Component 1 (Airfare Reimbursement for Residents of Remote and Isolated Areas):
    • the end of maximum caps
    • the end of ticket reimbursement for travel on chartered flights
  • Addition of Component 2 (Set Maximum Airfare Pricing):
    • Participating airlines will offer discounted tickets ($500 round trip or $250 one way) for routes between Montréal, Saint-Hubert, and Québec City to targeted remote or isolated areas.​​

General Objective

The goal of the Regional Air Access Program is to allow Quebecers to travel by air at an affordable price.

Eligible Applicants and Organizations

Component 1 - Airfare Reimbursement for Residents of Remote and Isolated Areas

  • Only residents of one of the following regions are eligible:
    • Abitibi-Témiscamingue
    • Bas-Saint-Laurent
    • Côte-Nord
    • Eeyou Istchee Baie-James
    • Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine
    • Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean
  • Students who are enrolled full time at an educational institution outside the program areas and whose parents or legal guardians are residents of an area included in the program

Component 2 - Set Maximum Airfare Pricing

  • Only air carriers that serve one or more routes covered by the program
  • To qualify, a carrier must meet the following conditions:
    • Hold a licence issued by the Canadian Transportation Agency to perform scheduled flights
    • Provide annual service on the air routes for which the Ministère provides financial assistance under the program. In order for the carrier to be considered to provide annual service, a minimum of one round-trip flight per week, per route, must be scheduled for every week of the year
  • The following airlines are program participants:

Companies listed on the Register of Companies Not Eligible for Public Contracts (RENA – Registre des entreprises non admissibles aux contrats publics) are not eligible for this program.

Component 1 - Airfare Reimbursement for Residents of Remote and Isolated Areas

Component 1 allows residents of eligible regions to be reimbursed by the Ministère for a portion of the cost of an airline ticket for travel within Québec. This reimbursement varies depending on the region’s degree of isolation and remoteness.

Specific Objective

The objective of Component 1 is to promote air travel for residents of remote and isolated regions of Québec.

Expenses

  • Airfare for a scheduled flight
  • Flight date change fees
  • Unaccompanied minor fees that apply to the itinerary

The air carrier must hold a domestic commercial licence (small or medium aircraft) issued by the Canadian Transportation Agency.

The origin and final destination of the trip must be located in Québec. Eligible expenses also include travel to and from border airports that provide access to certain regions of Québec, such as Wabush, Ottawa, Deer Lake, and Charlo. The Ministère reserves the right to modify the list of designated border airports at any time.

Ineligible Expenses

  • Travel from or to a destination outside Québec. Travel-related expenses including connections in Montréal or Québec City to a destination outside Québec are not eligible for the program
  • Tickets that have already received financial assistance for carriers under Component 2 (Set Maximum Airfare Pricing)
  • Travel for which the airfare is paid or reimbursed in whole or in part by an employer, health centre, organization, or other legal entity
  • Baggage fees (including animals)
  • Insurance fees
  • Air freight

Travel for school and extracurricular activities may be eligible even if partially reimbursed by a legal entity.

Reimbursements

Comp​​on​​​​entEligible CommunitiesReduction
Group A Communities not connected to the road network
(Basse-Côte-Nord, Anticosti Island, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Schefferville, and Whapmagoostui)
60%
Group B Communities connected to the road network and recognized as being remote by Revenu Québec
(Eeyou Istchee James Bay, Fermont, and Minganie)
40%
Group C Communities connected to the road network
(Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Côte-Nord [from Tadoussac to Sept-Îles], Gaspésie, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean)
30%

Once the allocated budgets have been exhausted, the Ministère reserves the right to refuse requests for reimbursement.

Conditions for Reimbursement

  • The request must be submitted after the trip but no later than one year thereafter.
  • Parents and legal guardians must complete the request for minors under their care.

Anyone making a false claim to obtain a reimbursement to which they are not entitled is liable to have their request denied and may be penalized according to the severity of the act. In such case:

  • An amount equal to the overpayment may be withheld from future eligible requests
  • Repayment may be required by the Ministère
  • Program exclusion may be issued for a period determined by the Ministère according to the severity of the fraudulent act

Required Documents

The applicant must include with their form or online request:

  • An invoice for the airline ticket indicating:
    • The name of the passenger
    • The itinerary
    • The price, including fees and taxes
  • Proof of travel (boarding passes) issued by the carrier

Additional documentation may be required for review or as part of an audit by the Ministère. The following documents must be retained by the applicant for a period of two years:

  • Valid proof of residence issued by a government entity, a municipal body (in accordance with Section 5 of the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information [C.Q.L.R., Chapter A-2.1]), a service company, or the owner of a rental unit (lease). The Ministère may, at its discretion, accept other types of proof of residence. The applicant’s address is requested on the program form and must match the address on the proof of residence.
  • Proof of payment showing the name of the ticket payer and confirming that the airline ticket was not paid for by a third party.
  • For students enrolled full time at an educational institution outside of the communities covered under the Regional Air Access Program, a letter from the registrar or a tuition receipt issued by the educational institution may be requested, in addition to proof of residence from the parents or legal guardian.

The Ministère may verify the applicant’s place of residence with government authorities such as Revenu Québec or the applicant’s employer.

Component 2 - Set Maximum Airfare Pricing

Component 2 supports air carriers serving targeted routes by providing financial assistance to make airline tickets available at a maximum price of $500 round trip or $250 one way.

For each eligible ticket sold, financial assistance is paid directly to air carriers according to the calculation parameters set out in the program’s terms and conditions.

Specific Objective

The objective of Component 2 is to make affordable air travel available on the routes targeted by the program.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for financial assistance, tickets must be sold for travel between Montréal, Saint-Hubert, or Québec City airports and one of the following destinations:

  • Baie-Comeau
  • Basse-Côte-Nord (from Kegaska to Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon)
  • Bonaventure
  • Chibougamau
  • Gaspé
  • Havre-Saint-Pierre
  • Îles-de-la-Madeleine
  • Mont-Joli
  • Natashquan
  • Port-Menier
  • Rouyn-Noranda
  • Saguenay-Bagotville
  • Schefferville
  • Sept-Îles
  • Val-d’Or
  • Wabush (Fermont)

Map of eligible air routes (June 2022) (in French only)

The following tickets are not eligible for financial assistance:

  • Those purchased or reimbursed by a legal entity (e.g., employer, company, organization, health centre, municipality, etc.)
  • Travel that is not exclusively for personal reasons, including business or work-related travel
  • Passengers with more than six one-way tickets in a fiscal year, i.e., from April 1 to March 31. One round trip is equivalent to two one-way trips
  • For a trip made more than six months after the reservation
  • Trips taken before the program’s effective date of June 1, 2022

In the event of a false claim by a passenger, with respect to the above, the passenger agrees to reimburse the Ministère directly for any amounts paid by the Ministère to the carrier for the sale of that ticket under Component 2. The passenger will also be excluded from the Regional Air Access Program for the duration of the program if they misrepresent their eligibility.

The program is also open to travellers who do not reside in Québec. However, during the course of the program, the Ministère may limit the sale of tickets to Québec residents after giving 60 days’ notice via publication on its website and communication sent to air carriers participating in the program.

Financial Aid Grid

The amount of financial assistance provided to participating carriers for each eligible ticket is predetermined for each eligible route. For more details, please consult the Financial Aid Grid by Route​ (in French only).

Maximum Ticket Price

In order for a ticket to be eligible for financial assistance, it must be sold at a maximum price—at the time of the program’s effective date (including airport and air security fees and taxes)—of:

  • $500 round trip
  • $250 one way

For the duration of the regulatory framework, the maximum price may be adjusted, on April 1 of each year, according to the annual change in the all items average consumer price index for Québec, excluding alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and recreational cannabis, for the 12-month period ending on September 30 of the year preceding the year for which the price is to be adjusted.

During the course of the program, if an increase in airport and air security fees is applied directly to the ticket, the maximum sale price may increase by the same amount as these fees and still be eligible for financial assistance.

Submitting a Request

Component 1 - Airfare Reimbursement for Residents of Remote and Isolated Areas

To obtain reimbursement, the person whose name appears on the airline ticket must submit the request, including the required documents:

Region​
Mailing Address
Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Bas-Saint-Laurent
Côte-Nord
Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine
Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean
Ministère des Transports
Regional Air Access Program
625, boulevard Laflèche, bureau 110
Baie-Comeau (Québec) G5C 1C5
Eeyou Istchee Baie-JamesAdministration régionale Baie-James
Regional Air Access Program
110, boulevard Matagami, C. P. 850
Matagami (Québec) J0Y 2A0

Component 2 - Set Maximum Airfare Pricing

Carriers wishing to obtain financial assistance must submit a request to the Ministère specifying, for each route, the frequency of flights and the type of aircraft used. The Ministère may request any additional information it deems relevant to the calculation of the monthly ticket allowance per route.

Requests should be sent to transport.aerien@transports.gouv.qc.ca from the carrier’s email address.

Following Up on a Request

Component 1 - Airfare Reimbursement for Residents of Remote and Isolated Areas

  • To check the status of your request or add supporting documents, you can access your file by selecting online service and then clicking on Check your file or add supporting documents.
  • Once your request is processed, you will be able to view its status with the request tracking tool. If your request is not available, this indicates it has not yet been processed.

Ple​ase note that it may take up to 90 business days to process a request from the time it is received.

Component 2 - Set Maximum Airfare Pricing

Request for Information

For more information, please contact the Ministère:

By phone:

  • 418-266-6647 (Québec City area)
  • 1-888-717-8082 (toll-free in Québec and throughout North America)

By email:

Documentation

Notice to persons with disabilities: The forms in this section may contain accessibility barriers. You can get help by contacting the Ministère. See above.

Component 1 - Airfare Reimbursement for Residents of Remote and Isolated Areas

Component 2 - Set Maximum Airfare Pricing

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