Category Archives: Air Canada

Air Canada will reduce capacity by 85-90% in the second quarter

Air Canada made this announcement:

Air Canada said today that due to the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 upon its business, the airline will reduce capacity for the second quarter of 2020 by 85%-90% compared to last year’s Q2 and will place 15,200 members of its unionized workforce on Off Duty Status and furlough about 1,300 managers. The workplace reductions will be effective on or about April 3 and are intended to be temporary.

“The unpredictable extent and duration of the Covid-19 pandemic requires a significant overall response.  To furlough such a large proportion of our employees is an extremely painful decision but one we are required to take given our dramatically smaller operations for the next while.  It will help ensure that Air Canada can manage through this crisis that is affecting airlines everywhere. We believe that the temporary nature of these reductions, many achieved through voluntary programs, combined with other mitigation measures, will position us to restore regular operations as soon as the situation improves,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive.

“I understand and regret the impact this will have upon our employees and their families. I thank all of our employees, as well as union leaders, for working with us constructively to quickly implement these measures”.

In addition to the temporary workforce reductions, other measures implemented by Air Canada include:

  • A company-wide cost reduction and capital deferral program, targeting at least $500 million.
  • Drawing down operating lines of credit of approximately $1 billion, to provide additional liquidity.
  • Mr. Rovinescu, Air Canada’s President & Chief Executive Officer, and Michael Rousseau, Air Canada’s Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer, have agreed to forgo 100% of their salary. Senior Executives will forgo between 25% – 50% of their salary while members of Air Canada’s Board of Directors have agreed to a 25% reduction. All other Air Canada managers will have their salaries reduced 10% for the entire Second Quarter.
  • Air Canada suspended its share repurchase program effective March 2, 2020.

Earlier today, the Prime Minister of Canada announced a new wage subsidy program the details of which will be communicated later in the week and Air Canada will assess the impact of this on its mitigation plans. In addition, the Prime Minister also publicly acknowledged that the crisis faced by industries such as airlines will need additional help beyond wage subsidy and loan credit measures already announced by the federal government.

Subject to further government restrictions, while the crisis is ongoing Air Canada intends to continue to serve a small number of international and U.S. trans-border destinations from select Canadian cities after April 1, 2020 in addition to a reduced network in Canada.  In addition, Air Canada will also continue to operate special international flights in collaboration with the Government of Canada to repatriate Canadians abroad as well as cargo-only flights to ensure the continued movement of essential goods, including medical supplies.

Air Canada aircraft photo gallery:

Competition Bureau issues report outlining competition concerns with Air Canada’s proposed acquisition of Transat

The Competition Bureau has issued this report:

The Competition Bureau announced on March 27 it has concluded that Air Canada’s proposed acquisition of Transat (Air Transat) is likely to result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in the sale of air travel or vacation packages to Canadians.

The Bureau’s concerns are outlined in a report delivered to the Minister of Transport by the Commissioner of Competition. The report will inform Transport Canada’s public interest review of the proposed transaction as it relates to national transportation.

Eliminating the rivalry between these airlines would result in increased prices, less choice, decreases in service and a significant reduction in travel by Canadians on a variety of routes where their existing networks overlap.

The Bureau’s analysis determined that the effects of the transaction would apply to 83 routes, including:

  • 49 overlapping routes between Canada and Europe; and
  • 34 overlapping routes between Canada and sun destinations in Florida, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

The transaction also represents a merger of the only two carriers offering nonstop service on 22 of these routes.

Our assessment is based upon a forward-looking analysis using data and information collected prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau recognizes that the impact of these events on the Canadian airline industry appear to be significant in the near term. The ultimate impact of these events may be relevant to the Bureau’s views on the proposed transaction but it is impossible to know the full extent and duration of any impact at this time.

Transport Canada has until May 2, 2020 to complete its public interest assessment and provide it to the Minister. The final decision regarding the proposed transaction will be made by the Governor in Council (Cabinet) based on a recommendation from the Minister.

Quick facts

  • Air Canada and Transat operate two of Canada’s four largest airlines and primary integrated tour operators providing vacation offerings to Canadians.
  • On August 26, 2019, the Minister of Transport started a public interest review of the proposed merger under subsection 53.1(5) of the Canada Transportation Act (CTA). As part of any such public interest review, the Commissioner of Competition is required to provide a report to the Minister on any concerns regarding potential prevention or lessening of competition that may occur as a result of the transaction.
  • Under the CTA, the Commissioner is also to provide an assessment to the Minister of the adequacy of any undertakings that may be proposed by the merging parties to address competition concerns raised in his report.
  • This is the second time the Commissioner provided a report to the Minister as part of a public interest review as it relates to national transportation.

Canadians continue to fly back home with Air Canada

Air Canada has made this announcement:

Air Canada announced today that, in collaboration with the Government of Canada, it will operate its first special flight from Algiers on Tuesday. Additional flights from Peru and Ecuador are also scheduled to depart in the coming days.

Algiers

The flight from Algiers to Montreal is currently scheduled to operate on March 31 on an Airbus A330 with 292 seats.

Quito

Air Canada Rouge will operate two additional flights on March 29 and March 31, on 282-seat wide body Boeing 767 aircraft.

Lima

Air Canada will operate one extra flight on April 1 on a 400-seat wide-body aircraft.

Canadians abroad must register with Global Affairs Canada to book their seat. For any emergency help, travelers can also contact sos@international.gc.ca.

Since March 21, Air Canada has operated nine special flights in collaboration with the Government of Canada to bring back Canadians home.

  • MoroccoMarch 21, 23, 25
  • PeruMarch 24, 26, 27
  • EcuadorMarch 25, 27
  • SpainMarch 25

Nearly 8,500 passengers in one day

Air Canada continues to operate on a reduced network following restrictions imposed by governments around the world. Its operations remain focused on bringing Canadians back home.

On March 28 alone, Air Canada is operating 59 flights back to Canada carrying approximately 8,500 passengers. Over the period between March 27 to 29, Air Canada will carry approximately 22,500 passengers back to Canada on 175 flights from Asia, Europe, Caribbean/South America and the United States.

Note: Air Canada later updated this announcement with this statement:

Updated text: The April 1st flight to Peru is still being planned and not yet currently scheduled.

Air Canada aircraft photo gallery:

Air Canada begins operating cargo-only flights

Air Canada made this announcement:

Air Canada said today that through its Air Canada Cargo division it has begun using its aircraft to operate cargo-only flights to Europe, with other flights planned for Latin America and South America. The aircraft on these flights carry no passengers but move time-sensitive shipments, including medical supplies to combat COVID-19, and goods to support the global economy.

“Air Canada Cargo has long served as a vital link in global supply chains and with the disruption arising from the COVID-19 pandemic our capabilities are more important than ever. Although we have announced very significant temporary capacity reductions and our passenger flights are largely dedicated to bringing Canadians home, Air Canada’s aircraft and our expertise in handling cargo are valuable assets that we can use to move medical supplies and other essential goods to keep the world economy going. We have already begun flights to Europe, and we are planning to expand this program to Latin America and South America, as well as within Canada, including remote communities using Air Canada Express aircraft. In addition to providing a much-needed service, these cargo-only flights are also supporting jobs at Air Canada,” said Tim Strauss, Vice President of Cargo, at Air Canada.

The first cargo-only flights departed from Toronto this past week for Frankfurt, London and Amsterdam, which are all both important business centers and connection points for onward cargo shipments. The flights were operated using Boeing 787 aircraft capable of carrying 35 tonnes of cargo, the equivalent of about 80 grand pianos. Shippers and freight forwarders using the service are charged a flat rate for both directions and Air Canada Cargo is also introducing a fractional program, so shippers who do not require a whole aircraft can book space. The arrangements with the shippers and freight forwarders contain clear provisions to ensure that these essential goods are being sold at fair market rates and to authorized suppliers.

Air Canada Cargo is now exploring opportunities to offer this service domestically. It is working with various governments to assess the demand and assist in moving relief goods from multiple markets within Canada. This includes using smaller Air Canada Express regional aircraft to operate to less-well served, smaller or remote regions in Canada with medical and other emergency supplies in support of local governments.

Air Canada does not operate cargo aircraft, instead its Air Canada Cargo division manages and markets excess belly space on the airline’s regular passenger flights for shippers operating worldwide. To facilitate the cargo-only flights, Air Canada Cargo has created five, segment-specific sales teams to focus on the unique needs of the customers at different levels in the supply chain.

Air Canada aircraft photo gallery:

Air Canada to operate two more flights from Quito to bring more Canadians home

Air Canada has made this announcement:

  • Additional flights to depart on March 29 and 31 from Ecuador
  • Travellers must contact Global Affairs Canada to book seats
  • Air Canada continues its repatriation efforts

Air Canada has announced that, in collaboration with the Government of Canada, it will operate two more special flights from Quito, for a total of three flights.

These flights are currently scheduled to be operated by Air Canada Rouge on March 29 and 31 from Quito to Toronto with a 282-seat wide-body aircraft. The flights are in addition to a special flight operating from Quito to Toronto on March 25.

Global Affairs Canada is coordinating local arrangements for Canadians wishing to return home on these special flights. Canadians abroad are strongly encouraged to register with Global Affairs Canada. For any emergency help you are encouraged to contact sos@international.gc.ca.

Since March 21, Air Canada has been operating special flights to repatriate Canadians from Morocco, Spain, Peru and Ecuador.

Air Canada aircraft photo gallery:

Air Canada will operate six special flights as repatriation efforts continue

Air Canada has made this announcement:

  • Flights from Lima, Quito and Barcelona
  • Air Canada brings more than 200,000 Canadians home in one week
  • More than 1,000 scheduled flights planned through to the end of the month to repatriate Canadians

Air Canada will operate six special flights from Lima, Barcelona and Quito this week to enable Canadians stranded abroad to return home. The flights, operated in collaboration with the Government of Canada, are part of Air Canada’s ongoing efforts to repatriate Canadians.

Peru

Air Canada will operate three flights between Toronto and Lima. The first departure from Canada scheduled for March 24 will also take back Peruvians who wish to return home. Two other special flights from Lima to Toronto are currently scheduled for March 26 and 27. The flights will be operated by a wide-body Boeing 777 aircraft with 400 seats.

Ecuador

Flights from Quito to Toronto will begin March 25 on a wide-body Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767 with 281 seats.

Spain

On March 25, a flight will depart Barcelona for Montreal on a wide-body Boeing 787 Dreamliner with 297 seats.

More than 1,000 flights by the end of March

Despite a substantial reduction in its network, Air Canada continues to operate and bring home hundreds of thousands of travellers from around the world. Over the past week, Air Canada has brought more than 200,000 Canadians back on its scheduled international and transborder flights. By the end of March, it plans to have operated more than 300 flights from international airports and more than 850 flights from U.S. airports. Air Canada has also announced that it intends to maintain a limited number of transborder and international flights from selected Canadian cities after April 1, 2020 to maintain a number of “air bridges” to facilitate essential travel and ensure the continued movement of emergency supplies and other vital goods.

Air Canada aircraft photo gallery:

Air Canada continues to bring Canadians back home

Air Canada has made this announcement:

Air Canada announced today that, in collaboration with the Canadian Government, it will operate two more special flights from Morocco. These flights follow a successful special flight completed March 21 in which Air Canada brought 444 Canadians home from Morocco.

These two additional flights are currently scheduled to operate on March 23 and 25 from Casablanca to Montreal with a 450-seat wide-body aircraft.

Global Affairs Canada is coordinating local arrangements for Canadians wishing to return home on these special flights. Canadians abroad are strongly encouraged to register with Global Affairs Canada. This will allow the Government of Canada to provide information to them as soon as it becomes available. For any emergency help you are encouraged to contact sos@international.gc.ca.

Air Canada brings thousands of people home

In the last week, Air Canada has transported more than 200,000 Canadians back home through its regularly scheduled operations across its international and U.S. network. Air Canada plans to operate more than 300 flights until the end of March from international destinations and more than 850 from the U.S., to enable hundreds of thousands more Canadians to return home.

Air Canada aircraft photo gallery: