- With the implementation of new COVID-19 restrictions, Air Canada (AC) is reducing its workforce for the first quarter of 2021 by 25 per cent
- The cuts are expected to affect around 1,700 employees, along with more than 200 workers at the company's Express carriers
- Air Canada's capacity for the first quarter of the year is expected to be just 20 per cent of what it was in the first quarter of 2019
- The news follows an earlier announcement, which said the company would suspend more flights to the Atlantic Canada region from January 23
- Air Canada is currently down 0.52 per cent to C$23.01 per share
With the implementation of new COVID-19 restrictions, Air Canada (AC) is reducing its workforce by 25 per cent.
The cuts come as part of the company's COVID-19 Mitigation and Recovery Plan, and are expected to affect around 1,700 employees as well as more than 200 workers at Air Canada's Express carriers.
"While this is not the news we were hoping to announce this early into the year, we are nonetheless encouraged that Health Canada has already approved two vaccines and that the Government of Canada expects the vast majority of eligible Canadians to be vaccinated by September," said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Air Canada.
"We look forward to seeing our business start to return to normal and to bringing back some of our more than 20,000 employees currently on furlough and layoff," she added.
As a result, Air Canada's workforce capacity for the first quarter of 2021 is expected to be just 20 per cent of what it was in the first quarter of 2019.
The company said it will continue to evaluate and adjust its route network as necessary, taking into account the trajectory of the pandemic, government-imposed travel restrictions and quarantines, and market and regulatory conditions.
The news follows a separate earlier announcement, which said Air Canada was suspending its passenger service to the Atlantic Canada region, including Yellowknife and Labrador.
Diane Archie, the Northwest Territories' Minister of Infrastructure, said that while the government was disappointed, it "understands that businesses must make decisions that they believe best fit with their business model and market conditions."
Air Canada is currently down 0.52 per cent to C$23.01 per share at 11:10am EST.