• Joe Breitfeller

Air Canada Reduces First Quarter capacity by an Additional 25 Percent, Stands Down 1,700 Employees

Due to new pre-departure testing requirements, provincial lockdowns and travel restrictions, Air Canada will further reduce first quarter capacity by 25 percent and implement workforce reductions impacting 1,700 employees.


Air Canada Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner - Courtesy Air Canada

On Wednesday (January 13, 2021), Air Canada announced that due to new pre-departure testing requirements, provincial lockdowns and travel restrictions, they will cut first quarter capacity by an additional 25 percent and implement workforce reductions impaction 1,700 team members. An additional 200 employees will be impacted at the carrier’s Express operations and the company is currently working with their unions on mitigation programs. With the further capacity reduction announced today, Air Canada’s first quarter capacity will be reduced to approximately 20 percent of the capacity operated during the same period last year. In Wednesday’s announcement, Air Canada’s Chief Commercial Officer, Lucie Guillemette, said,


“Since the implementation by the Federal and Provincial Governments of these increased travel restrictions and other measures, in addition to the existing quarantine requirements, we have seen an immediate impact to our close-in bookings and have made the difficult but necessary decision to further adjust our schedule and rationalize our transborder, Caribbean and domestic routes to better reflect expected demand and to reduce cash burn. 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.


“While this is not the news we were hoping to announce this early into the year, we are nonetheless encouraged that Health Canada has already approved two vaccines and that the Government of Canada expects the vast majority of eligible Canadians to be vaccinated by September. We look forward to seeing our business start to return to normal and to bringing back some of our more than 20,000 employees currently on furlough and layoff.”


Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline, serving over 51 million guests in 2019. The Canadian flag carrier is a founding member of the Star Alliance and the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax, who also named the carrier ‘2019 Best Airline in North America.’



Source: Air Canada