(CBC) – Air Canada plans to cut its workforce by at least half as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the airline industry, according to an internal memo obtained by CBC News.
Effective June 7, “approximately 50 to 60 per cent” of the company’s 38,000 employees will be laid off, the company said in the memo sent to all staff on Friday. “We estimate about 20,000 people will be affected.”
Air Canada said the move comes after a “fundamental review of what we must do to successfully emerge from this crisis and begin rebuilding our airline.”
The airline said it is currently flying at about five per cent of the capacity it flew last year and hopes to ramp up to 25 per cent later in the year if government-imposed travel restrictions are eased.
“Sadly, today the hard truth is that by every indicator we have available to us, we believe that we will be materially smaller for at least three years,” Craig Landry, Air Canada’s executive vice-president of operations, said in the memo.
He also said the airline was burning $22 million a day.