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Air Canada to layoff half of workforce


May 19, 2020
Wings Staff

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CBC News on May 15 published a report about an internal Air Canada memo outlining to all employees that the airline plans to layoff approximately 50 to 60 per cent of its 38,000 workforce beginning on June 7.

Read the CBC News article

The Canadian Press, based on an internal bulletin sent to members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), subsequently reported Air Canada plans to ask flight attendants to slash their schedules, go on leave for up to two years, or resign with travel privileges to minimize the number of layoffs.

Air Canada previously announced plans to cut its second quarter-capacity by up to 90 per cent, also projecting that its third-quarter capacity would also see a significant year-over-year reduction of around 75 per cent. At the time, Calin Rovinescu, president and CEO of Air Canada, described the current situation as, “The darkest period ever in the history of commercial aviation.”

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Rovinescu also noted Air Canada management expects it will take at least three years for the airline to recover to its 2019 levels of revenue and capacity. The airline has currently grounded more than 200 airplanes.

Air Canada reports first quarter, $1.05B net loss

The Government of Canada has not introduced specific measures of financial support for the aviation industry, which may now be in play as the country’s largest airline prepares to layoff anywhere from 19,000 to 22,000 of its workforce. Industry analysts also project some governments will move to purchase their flag-carrier airlines.