Air Canada and WestJet Massive Layoffs

Posted on March 25, 2020 by in Air Canada, Travel Deals, Travel News

On January 30, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern. With the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak countries all over the world are taking precautions in order to minimize the risk. Just a few weeks later the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. Following the news, many airlines were forced to suspend or reduce their daily operations. We have the latest information from airlines all around the world. You can see how to get a refund or reschedule your flight here. With the airlines struggling with a rapid decline of customers, many of them are taking some extra steps to minimize expenses.

Air Canada Flight Attendants Layoffs

Air Canada plans to temporarily lay off more than 5,000 flight attendants due to the new coronavirus pandemic, according to their union. The layoffs would affect 3,600 flight attendants at Air Canada. However, all 1,549 flight attendants at its budget Air Canada Rouge partner will be laid off. The airline said it planned to gradually reduce its domestic and US flights by March 31, after Canada temporarily closed its border with the United States to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Earlier this week, Air Canada announced it would drastically reduce flying capacity due to low demand and government-ordered border closures as a result of the pandemic. Air Canada has also reached an agreement with its pilots association that would allow the airline to furlough up to 600 pilots, according to a letter from the union. This agreement will cover six months from April through the end of September.

WestJet Layoffs

Another Canadian airline, WestJet, cuts 50% of staff because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline announced Tuesday 6,900 employees out of a total of 14,000 are receiving notices of voluntary and involuntary leaves. In a video message posted online by the company, CEO Ed Sims called the cuts devastating. Canada’s WestJet will be suspending all international operations as the Canadian government largely closes its borders. They will also cut domestic travel by 50%.

From the video message on the WestJet official website:

“Today, 6,900 WestJetters are receiving notices confirming early retirements, early outs, and both voluntary and involuntary leaves. This is devastating news for all WestJetters. The fact that we avoided a potentially worse outcome is testament to the spirit and selfless attitude demonstrated by our people, who have enabled WestJet to continue operating with a collective remaining workforce of 7,100.” said Ed Sims, WestJet President, and CEO


About the author: Mila Kostic is a native of Belgrade, Serbia. After majoring in sociology at the Belgrade University she has been working as tutor and coach. Prior to taking on her role at Mighty Travels, she wrote for a video games, fitness, and health lifestyle website. After starting her work with the Mighty Travels team she discovered her passion for travel and travel writing. Now, she is focused on bringing you the newest travel news. In her portfolio here at Mighty Travels, you can find articles on Airline news, hottest credit card deals, tips and tricks on earning miles and much more. You can reach her at [email protected]

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