Air Canada has announced today that it will implement additional capacity and workforce reductions in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The airline has revealed plans to cut network capacity by a quarter, and is estimating around 1,700 jobs to be affected. Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Lucie Guillemette said this was not the news the airline was hoping to announce so early in the new year.
Flights for Q1 slashed by a quarter
Canada’s largest airline, Air Canada, has announced today that it will reduce its planned flight capacity for the first quarter of the year by 25%. Already operating a pared-back schedule, these cuts will see the airline flying just 20% of its 2019 capacity across the quarter. Some 1,700 employees will be added to the furlough list as a result.
The trigger for these deeper cuts is the requirement by the government of Canada for incoming travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test before departure. Air Canada had joined with other parties, including Sunwing, Air Transat and IATA, to lobby for the implementation of the ruling to be extended by 11 days. They were unsuccessful in swaying Ottawa’s decision.