Air Canada Temporarily Lays Off Half its Workforce

By Paul Riegler on 31 March 2020
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Air Canada’s new Maple Leaf Lounge at LGA

Air Canada said late Monday it would temporarily lay off 16,500 people – roughly half its work force, as the country’s largest airline slashes its flying by 90%.

The “extremely painful” move comes as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has resulted in the closing of the borders of most countries Air Canada serves.

“The unpredictable extent and duration of the Covid-19 pandemic requires a significant overall response,” said Air Canada CEO Carl Rovinescu in a statement. “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.”

The cuts include approximately 1,300 managers and 15,200 unionized members of its workforce.

Air Canada said it has begun a company-wide cost reduction and capital expenditure deferral program “targeting at least 500 million Canadian dollars ($373 million)” and it will use operating lines of credit of one billion Canadian dollars to provide additional liquidity.

In addition,  members of the airline’s C-Suite including the CEO, deputy CEO, and CFO, will forego 100% of their salary, while other senior executives will forego between 25% to 50% of theirs.  Other Air Canada managers will see a 10% salary reduction in the coming quarter.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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