OTTAWA, ON (NEWS1130) – The NDP is blaming the Harper government for the serious financial problems of Air Canada.

The airline says its first-quarter loss was 11 times higher this year than in 2011 — coming in at $210-million.

Part of the reason is the recent labour disputes.

New Democrat David Christopherson says customers are leaving the airline thanks to the Tories interfering in those disputes and they need to take some responsibility for that.

“The government needs to admit that they’ve been wrong, their role in all of this and they need to then step in and ensure that Air Canada reaches fare collective agreements,” believes Christopherson.

“It’s a matter of Canadians and passengers reacting to what the government and what Air Canada has done and it’s that uncertainty that has caused people. I think, in large part to say wait a minute I’m not so sure about Air Canada.”

Christopherson says it is too early to talk about any bailouts for the carrier. Although the loss was substantial, it still was not as bad as analysts were expecting.