By: Flyhigh Manila Staff
Air Canada has temporarily laid-off 5,100 cabin crew members brought by the impact of the COVID-19 on the business, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) confirmed. CUPE represents Air Canada and subsidiary Rouge cabin crew. This include 3,600 from Air Canada and 1,549 from Rouge. The layoffs are until April 30, the union said.
In a report from FlightGlobal, CUPE is "deeply saddened to learn that the company will temporarily lay off approximately 3,600 of its members at Air Canada mainline, and all 1,549 of its members at Air Canada Rouge.”
“The layoffs announced today are effective until April 30, 2020 at the earliest, but the union is hopeful that conditions in the industry improve and allow the airline to begin bringing flight attendants back on-board,” it writes.
The airline last March 20 said, "“In light of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 global crisis and Air Canada’s significantly reduced network, Air Canada has initiated discussions with its unions to begin placing employees on temporary, off-duty status.”
Air Canada also maintained that “employees would be returned to active duty status when we ramp up our network schedule as conditions allow."
"We do not have final numbers of total employees affected yet or details on timing as we are working through mitigation programs with each union,” it said.
Air Canada said early this week that it will be suspending majority of its international flights by March 31 as the CoviD-19 pandemic has prompted many countries to impose travel bans and restrictions to prevent its spread. The airline will maintain a few flights to repatriate Canadian citizens and to continue cargo services. The airline has also requested the Canadian government for help in order to manage through the crisis.
Many airlines around the world has either laid-off or retrenched cabin crew as capacity continues to be slashed down due to the CoviD-19 outbreak. Just lately, Philippine-based budget carrier Cebu Pacific laid-off more than 150 probationary cabin crew in order to mitigate costs as the airline has suspended its passenger services temporarily.