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Air Canada planning to cut 20,000 jobs in next few weeks

Air Canada is planning to cut around 20,000 jobs in the next three weeks amid the effects of the coronavirus crisis, a memo revealed. With around 38,000 employees, this means that more than half are bound to lose their jobs.

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“Sadly, today the hard truth is that by every indicator we have available to us, we believe that we will be materially smaller for at least three years,” said CragLandry, Air Canada executive vice-president of operations.

Air Canada chief executive Calin Rovinescu said that the airline is in its 'darkest period ever' in its history and that it may take a minimum of three years for before revenue can pass the 2019 levels.

In its response to the memo, Air Canada said, "We therefore took the extremely difficult decision today to significantly downsize our operation to align with forecasts, which regrettably means reducing our workforce by 50 to 60 per cent…We estimate about 20,000 people will be affected.”

The airline however would need to apply for a "group termination waiver" in accordance to Canadian Labor Laws. This means that the airline would have to provide a notice to the Minister of Labor at least 16 weeks before the termination of employment takes effect.

Air Canada is currently only operating at 5% of its May 2019 capacity but looks to increase that later this year depending on government imposed travel restrictions. The airline has also adapted other means to adjust to the CoviD-19 situation by converting some of its passenger aircraft like its Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 into cargo aircraft in order to be able to continue operations while passenger air travel demand are on an all-time low.

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