Air Canada to lay off 20,000 workers amidst collapsing travel industry

Air Canada plans to cut its workforce by roughly half due to the economic ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the airline and travel industries.

Airbus Photo
According to Air Canada, the carrier is currently flying at roughly five per cent the capacity it flew last year. Airbus Photo
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In a memo obtained by CBC News, the company told staff that effective June 7, “approximately 50 to 60 per cent” of the company’s 38,000 employees would be laid off.

“We estimate about 20,000 people will be affected,” the memo read.

According to the carrier, it is currently flying at roughly five per cent the capacity it flew last year, with hopes to get to at least 25 per cent later in the year as travel restrictions are slowly lifted.

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The Montreal-based company also said in its memo that it believes the company will be materially smaller “for at least three years.”

In a separate memo sent from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) to its members employed by Air Canada, the carrier said it will be asking flight attendants to reduce their schedules, take a leave for two years or resign with “travel privileges,” in order to minimize the number of layoffs.

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