Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Air Canada continues downsizing with massive domestic route decimation and closes eight stations

Air Canada announced on Tuesday a staggering downsizing of its domestic operation by closing eight stations at regional airports across Canada and indefinitely suspending service on 30 domestic regional routes and warns the decimation will continue. 

The airline says these structural changes are being made as a direct result of continuing low demand for flights from both business and leisure travellers, following the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and provincial and federal government-imposed travel restrictions and border closures.

The regional airports where Air Canada is closing its stations are: Bathurst (New Brunswick), Wabush (Newfoundland and Labrador), Gaspé (Quebec), Baie Comeau (Quebec), Mont Joli (Quebec), Val d'Or (Quebec),  Kingston (Ontario) and North Bay (Ontario).

The following routes will be suspended indefinitely:  

Maritimes/Newfoundland and Labrador:
Deer Lake-Goose Bay;
Deer Lake-St. John's;
Fredericton-Halifax;
Fredericton-Ottawa;
Moncton-Halifax;
Saint John-Halifax;
Charlottetown-Halifax;
Moncton-Ottawa;
Gander-Goose Bay;
Gander-St. John's;
Bathurst-Montreal;
Wabush-Goose Bay;
Wabush-Sept-Iles;
Goose Bay-St. John's.

Quebec/Ontario:

Baie Comeau-Montreal;
Baie Comeau-Mont Joli;
Gaspé-Iles de la Madeleine;
Gaspé-Quebec City;
Sept-Iles-Quebec City;
Val d'Or-Montreal;
Mont Joli-Montreal;
Rouyn-Noranda-Val d'Or;
Kingston-Toronto;
London-Ottawa;
North Bay-Toronto
Windsor-Montreal

Western Canada:

Regina-Winnipeg;
Regina-Saskatoon;
Regina-Ottawa;
Saskatoon-Ottawa.


The Canadian national carrier has been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis, reporting a net loss of $1.05 billion in the first quarter of 2020, including a net cash-burn in March of $688 million. The firm has embarked on a sweeping cost-cutting programme as it battles to survive. Some of the major measures it has already announced include: 

Reducing its workforce by more than 50% with around 20,000 job losses.
Cost Reduction and Capital Deferral Programme
A reduction of its system-wide capacity by approximately 85%
The permanent removal of 79 aircraft from its mainline and Rouge fleets;
And raising approximatively $5.5 billion in liquidity since March 13, 2020.

However,  this is not all,  the airline has warned that it expects the recovery to take at least three years and as such many other changes to its route network, service suspensions and schedule alterations are inevitable and will be announced over the coming weeks.








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