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Air Canada cuts 1,500 more jobs and cancels 17 more routes

Air Canada cuts 1,500 more jobs and cancels 17 more routes

Canada’s largest airline has informed 1,500 of its workers that they will soon be out of work due to new travel restrictions and a dramatic reduction in demand for flights.

The airline “will temporarily reduce its unionized workforce by 1,500 people and an as yet undetermined number of management positions,” Air Canada told CBC News.

The move follows a decision last week to temporarily shut down all Rouge flights, which resulted in the loss of 80 jobs.

“This is due to the federal government’s introduction of a mandatory arrival quarantine as well as the continued suspension of flights to Mexico and the Caribbean,” said CUPE, the company’s largest union Aerial.

At least 900 of the jobs lost will come from CUPE members.

Route suspensions

The airline is also shutting down service on 17 other routes starting next week, including:

  • Toronto to Fort Myers, Florida.
  • Toronto to Boston.
  • Toronto to Washington, DC (Reagan)
  • Toronto to Denver
  • Toronto to New York (LaGuardia)
  • From Montreal to Boston.
  • Montreal at LaGuardia.
  • Vancouver to Seattle.
  • Toronto to Bogotá, Colombia.
  • Toronto to Dubai.
  • Toronto to São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Toronto to Hong Kong.
  • Toronto to Tel Aviv, Israel.
  • Montreal to Bogotá, Colombia.
  • Vancouver to London, United Kingdom
  • Vancouver to Tokyo (Narita).
  • Toronto to Dublin, Ireland.

Calgary-based independent airline analyst Rick Erickson, who has no financial relationship with Air Canada, called the news “another serious and serious blow to the Canadian airline industry.”

The job cuts mean Air Canada has essentially halved its workforce, from about 40,000 people before the pandemic to about 20,000 today. WestJet has cut even more, he says, from 14,000 workers previously to just about 3,500 today.

Erickson says he was more surprised by the road suspensions, as not all of them are to the sunshine destinations in the United States and the Caribbean targeted by the new travel rules.

Removing Air Canada from these routes will do little to limit travel, as foreign airlines will likely maintain service.

“The situation is dire,” he said. “The airlines have had no choice but to keep making cuts.”

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