Air Canada to lay off another 16,500 workers, slash capacity by 90%

Air Canada will temporarily lay off more than 15,000 unionized workers beginning this week as the airline struggles with effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. "We believe the proposed transaction will help the Canadian airline industry recover from this crisis - an element that works in its favour". The airline said it has also drawn down $1 billion from its lines of credit and will target $500 million in cost savings.

"To furlough such a large proportion of our employees is an extremely painful decision but one we are required to take given our dramatically smaller operations for the next while", Air Canada chief executive Calin Rovinescu said in a statement.

Senior executives will give up 25-50% of their salaries while members of Air Canada's Board of Directors have agreed to a reduction of 25%.

Air Canada suspended its share repurchase program effective March 2, 2020. Air Canada said in its release Monday that it will assess the impact of the new federal 75-per-cent wage subsidy once full details are released this week while it awaits more targeted aid for the airline sector.

The Competition Bureau said that its report draws on data from before the start of the global pandemic, which has since dramatically transformed the entire airline industry as worldwide borders closed and airlines cancelled up to 95% of all flights.

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After 14 days, travellers will then be allowed to return to their own homes. Let's keep saving lives, let's keep saving livelihoods". Prime Minister Scott Morrison is speaking in Canberra.


Air Canada is working with Ottawa to repatriate Canadians overseas.

Air Canada employs 36,000 people around the world, according to the company website.

Air Canada employs about 4,400 pilots.

The number of airports in Canada it is now serving has been reduced from 62 to 40. Air Canada is the only global network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent United Kingdom research firm Skytrax, which also named Air Canada the 2019 Best Airline in North America.

  • Darren Santiago