Air Canada will cut around half of its employees as it deals with the global crisis caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The cuts will begin on 7th June and will see at least 19,000 staff lose their jobs across the company but sources close to the airline warned the final figure could be much higher.
Like most airlines around the world, Air Canada has seen a significant impact from worldwide travel restrictions and has cut its schedule by 95% leaving over 200 planes grounded.
In an email, staff were told that the airline “took the extremely difficult decision today to significantly downsize our operation to align with forecasts, which regrettably means reducing our workforce by 50 to 60%” and it warned that it estimated “about 20,000 people will be affected.”
According to sources within the airline, Air Canada is offering a number of incentives to crews in an effort to minister forced redundancies. These include resignation but retaining their travel privileges or take two-years unpaid leave.
While the airline industry is starting to see signs of life, the job losses are needed as it could be up to four years before the industry returns to anywhere near the pre-pandemic levels.