Air Canada temporarily lays off additional 15,200 employees | Mapped

Daniel Fowler
March 31, 2020

Air Canada - the country's largest airline - will temporarily lay off more than 15,000 workers this week, the Canadian Press reports.

"We believe that the temporary nature of these reductions, many achieved through voluntary programs, combined with other mitigation measures, will position us to restore regular operations as soon as the situation improves".

A company-wide cost reduction and capital deferral program, targeting at least $500 million.

The Competition Bureau, Canada's anti-trust regulator, came out against Air Canada's planned acquisition of Transat, saying it would "result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in the sale of air travel or vacation packages to Canadians".

Information about Air Canada's Covid-19 response including all schedule changes can be found at www.aircanada.com.

It includes a pledge from both the CEO and chief financial officer Mike Rousseau to forego 100 per cent of their salaries, while the rest of the executive team will give up between 25 per cent and 50 per cent.

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Rovinescu continues that these temporary layoffs will aid in ensuring that Air Canada will be able to manage through the coronavirus crisis that has taken serious tolls not only on their airline but on every operator within the industry.

The Competition Bureau's warning about Air Canada's proposed takeover of Transat AT Inc., which owns Air Transat, should be taken in context, analysts say.

"I understand and regret the impact this will have upon our employees and their families", Rovinescu stated. Air Canada shares have tumbled 53 per cent so far in March, through the end of trading Monday.

Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and global airline serving almost 220 airports on six continents. Air Canada is the only worldwide network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent United Kingdom research firm Skytrax, which also named Air Canada the 2019 Best Airline in North America.

The Calgary-based company will offer no flights to the U.S., Europe, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has shut borders and sent travel demand tumbling.

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