Monday, 18 May 2020

Canadian government considering options over Air Canada

The leading Canadian airline, Air Canada confirmed on Friday that it was planning on shedding around 60% of its workforce as it struggled to find a way out of the quagmire caused by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. 

The carrier is struggling to save cash and needs to reposition itself in order to be the right size and agile enough to come out of the current crisis and adapt to the expected in a post-COVID marketplace.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) confirmed it was in negotiations with the airline on mitigations and other matters. The union which represents Air Canada cabin crew has said the airline will be asking employees to either reduce their hours, go on leave for up to two years or resign yet keep travel privileges.  

Over the weekend the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would be looking at possible options of helping airlines further, given the current situation, after news broke about the Air Canda layoffs.“This pandemic has hit extremely hard on travel industries and on the airlines particularly,” Trudeau said in a briefing in Ottawa. “That’s why we’re going to keep working with airlines, including Air Canada, to see how we can help even more.” 

It is not clear at this stage what form that help may come in, however, taking a stake in the airline hasn't been ruled out and calculations have, according to local media, been done on a preliminary level.  

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