Air Canada Forced To Layoff 20,000 Employees as Pandemic Collapses Industry

Air Canada Forced To Layoff 20,000 Employees as Pandemic Collapses Industry

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Air Canada plans to cut its workforce by at least half as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause the airline industry to plummet.

“approximately 50 to 60 per cent” of the company’s 38,000 employees will be laid off, the company said in the memo sent to all staff on Friday. “We estimate about 20,000 people will be affected.”

The airline said it is currently flying at about five per cent of the capacity it flew last year and hopes to ramp up to 25 per cent later in the year if government-imposed travel restrictions are eased.

“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,” Craig Landry, Air Canada’s executive vice-president of operations, said in the memo.

Reports say Air Canada is burning $22 million a day.
The announcement comes amid ongoing border shutdowns and confinement measures that have tanked travel demand, prompting Air Canada to ground 225 aircraft.
To minimize the number of layoffs, Air Canada will ask flight attendants to slash their schedules, go on leave for up to two years or resign with travel privileges.
Reacting to news about the layoffs, CUPE said in a separate statement that it is “doing everything it can to protect the livelihoods of our 10,000 flight attendant members.”

While Air Canada is not contributing to most worker wages, the airline has continued to put money toward pensions and benefits, draining cash at a company that lost more than $1 billion in its last quarter.

I hope everyone affected by this stays optimistic and hangs in there. What are your thoughts on this?


Yikes. AC is hemorrhaging money. This is sad to see. When will we get some good aviation news? 😔

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Probably not anytime soon :(

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This has been a long time coming. I think airlines such as Air Canada and British Airways are using this pandemic somewhat to there advantage. They’re ‘trimming the fat.’ Old expensive employees are the first to go, then you make the newer ones sign worse contracts. And if they refuse you tell everyone you will have to make thousands redundant to survive, forcing the unions back to the negotiating table. Im not quite sure about Air Canada but Willie Walsh (IAG) is almost certainly using this to settle some old scores. (Virgin, unions, HAL and many more)

To be fair though it’s also partly the airlines fault. The big North American carriers have never been good with money. A prime example is probably the fact that the U.S carriers spent most of their recent profits on stock buy backs to inflate the company’s value. On the other hand you have British Airways (Love them or hate them) who went into Covid-19 sitting on a pile of over $3 billion in cash. (They obviously learned their lesson from 2008)

These airlines definitely have some good lawyers. If anything is the slightest bit illegal the unions will be all over it. Either way it’s a very sad day for those who will lose there job, my thoughts are with them.

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i hope Air Canada can rebound after this!

Everyone talks about plane retirements, but each time I see one of these topics my first thoughts go to the employees and their families. I hope this whole ordeal will be over soon so no more people get laid off.

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I have full trust in the Canadian government to provide these essential airlines with the money to continue them afloat until they can rebound

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Wow, and I was thinking 500 from a cruise line was a lot but 22,000 people… Air Canada may not recover

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If Canada becomes desperate, the government will assist. Canada as a country would lose too much as an economy and society without air Canada.


“We will have conversations with Air Canada as we will with airlines across the sector to try and see how the best way to get through this particular pandemic is,” Trudeau said in a prepared statement.

“We know that airlines are incredibly hard hit by this pandemic and we will be there to work with them to see how best we can help.”

Trudeau said this in a statement, so I’m sure they will be fine!


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buys credit swaps on Air Canada bonds

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