(14 Jan 2021)
Air Canada has reduced its Q1 2021 system capacity by
an additional 25%.
As a result, the airline will further reduce
its workforce by approximately 1,700 employees, in addition to the
over 200 impacted employees at the company’s Express carriers.
The airline says it is working with unions on
Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice
President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada, said, “Since the implementation by the Federal and
Provincial Governments of increased travel restrictions and
other measures, in addition to the existing quarantine
requirements, we have seen an immediate impact to our close-in
bookings and have made the difficult but necessary decision to
further adjust our schedule and rationalize our transborder,
Caribbean and domestic routes to better reflect expected demand
and to reduce cash burn. We regret the impact these difficult
decisions will have on our employees who have worked very hard
during the pandemic looking after our customers, as well as on the
Air Canada will be reducing approximately 25 per
cent of its planned capacity for the balance of the first quarter
of 2021. With this reduction, capacity in the first quarter of
2021 will be about 20 per cent of what Air Canada operated in the
first quarter of 2019.
“While this is not the news we were hoping to
announce this early into the year, we are nonetheless encouraged
that Health Canada has already approved two vaccines and that the
Government of Canada expects the vast majority of eligible
Canadians to be vaccinated by September. We look forward to seeing
our business start to return to normal and to bringing back some
of our more than 20,000 employees currently on furlough and
layoff,”Ms. Guillemette added.
Affected customers on all routes will be contacted
by Air Canada and offered options, including refunds for eligible
customers and alternative routings where available.