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Air Canada is temporarily laying off 15,200 unionized workers and will furlough 1,300 managers

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MONTREAL, March 30, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada said today that due to the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 upon its business, the airline will reduce capacity for the Second Quarter of 2020 by 85%-90% compared to last year’s Q2 and will place 15,200 members of its unionized workforce on Off Duty Status and furlough about 1,300 managers. The workplace reductions will be effective on or about April 3 and are intended to be temporary.

Air Canada Signature class. photo by Air Canada

“The unpredictable extent and duration of the Covid-19 pandemic requires a significant overall response. To furlough such a large proportion of our employees is an extremely painful decision but one we are required to take given our dramatically smaller operations for the next while. It will help ensure that Air Canada can manage through this crisis that is affecting airlines everywhere. 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,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive.

“I understand and regret the impact this will have upon our employees and their families. I thank all of our employees, as well as union leaders, for working with us constructively to quickly implement these measures”.

Subject to further government restrictions, while the crisis is ongoing Air Canada intends to continue to serve a small number of international and U.S. trans-border destinations from select Canadian cities after April 1, 2020 in addition to a reduced network in Canada.

Air Canada B787 Dreamliner flying over the Rockies. source Air Canada

In addition, Air Canada will also continue to operate special international flights in collaboration with the Government of Canada to repatriate Canadians abroad as well as cargo-only flights to ensure the continued movement of essential goods, including medical supplies.

On March 28th alone, Air Canada provided 59 flights back to Canada carrying approximately 8,500 passengers. Over the period between March 27 to 29, Air Canada will carry approximately 22,500 passengers back to Canada on 175 flights from Asia, Europe, Caribbean/South America and the United States.

with files from Air Canada

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