The Air Canada logo is seen on a hangar at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Friday, March 20, 2020. Air Canada has advised airports in Atlantic Canada that it will suspend more routes in the region until further notice. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The Air Canada logo is seen on a hangar at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Friday, March 20, 2020. Air Canada has advised airports in Atlantic Canada that it will suspend more routes in the region until further notice. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Air Canada cuts 1,700 more jobs, slashes capacity

Its first quarter 2021 capacity will be 20 per cent of what it had in 2019

Air Canada says it will cut 1,700 jobs as it scales down operations in response to a new wave of lockdown restrictions.

The 25 per cent reduction in service for the first quarter of 2021 will also affect 200 employees at Air Canada’s Express carriers, the company said Wednesday morning.

“We regret the impact these difficult decisions will have on our employees who have worked very hard during the pandemic looking after our customers, as well as on the affected communities,” said Lucie Guillemette, Air Canada’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer, in a statement.

Guillemette said increased travel restrictions by federal and provincial governments have had an immediate impact on the company’s bookings.

With the reduction, Air Canada’s capacity in the first quarter of 2021 will be about 20 per cent of its capacity during the first quarter of 2019, the company says.

Air Canada notified airports in Atlantic Canada this week that it would cut additional routes in the region, suspending all flights in Gander, N.L., Goose Bay, N.L., and Fredericton, N.B., until further notice as of Jan. 23.

Air Canada is contacting affected customers to offer them options such as refunds or alternative travel arrangements, the company said.

The cuts come just days after Air Canada’s latest round of service reductions in Atlantic Canada went into effect on Jan. 11.

Monette Pasher, the executive director of the Atlantic Canada Airports Association, said in a statement that the repercussions of the service cuts would be felt for years to come in communities in Atlantic Canada.

“We cannot just flip a switch to turn air service back on when we get to the other side of this pandemic,” Pasher said. “We are going to have a long hard road ahead of us to rebuild air access for our region.”

READ MORE: Air Canada uses social media influencers to promote travel abroad, despite stay-home direction

Jon Victor, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Air CanadaCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Parksville Fire Department crews attended the scene of a house fire on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 at the end of Foster Place in Parksville. No injuries were reported. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Fire crews called to battle house fire in Parksville

No injuries reported, kitty rescued

Emma Nunn from Alberni Valley Rescue Squad waits at the summit of Mount Arrowsmith for the rest of the AVRS rope rescue team on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY DAVE POULSEN, AVRS)
UPDATE: Injured hikers among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

Kim Burden, executive director of the Parksville and District and Qualicum Beach Chambers of Commerce. (PQB News photo)
PQBeat: Chamber of Commerce executive director Kim Burden looks ahead

Podcast: Talk includes 2021 business plans in Parksville, Qualicum Beach, events and more

The Village Way and Highway 19A roundabout is the Town of Qualicum Beach priority for a grant application. (Google Map)
Qualicum Beach council favours roundabout over turf field project

Mayor believes road project has better chance of landing grant

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. turns to second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supplies slow

Pfizer shipments down until February, to be made up in March

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced funding to train community mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions. (Stock photo)
B.C. funding training of mental health workers at four post-secondary institutions

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

Most Read