MIAMI – Due to the new COVID-19 travel restrictions set by the federal and provincial governments in Canada, Air Canada (AC) has adjusted its Q1 capacity and workforce. 

The carrier announced today its Q1 system capacity will be reduced by 25%, and a workforce reduction of 1700 employees will take place to compensate for the decreased operational capacity. AC will be working with unions on programs to help employees who were furloughed.

In comparison to Q1 operations in 2019, operations for Q1 this year will see around a 20% reduction. AC commented that it would continue to monitor changes to restrictions as well as market conditions around the world and make necessary adjustments to its scheduling.

In these difficult times, it’s important for airlines to remain flexible and adapt to the ever changing situation. In fact, we have already seen AC make numerous necessary changes to its planning and operations to reduce costs and help stay afloat. 

Further, just last month, AC announced that it would suspend all operations between Toronto and Sydney, Australia due to a dip in passenger demand. In addition, in November last year, AC also delayed or cancelled orders for new Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A220 aircraft after an 83% drop in revenue.

Air Canada Boeing 787 | Photo: Tony Bordelais

Executive’s Comments

Air Canada Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Lucie Guillemette said, “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. 

She continued, “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.”

Featured Photo: Liam Funnell/Airways