A union official says Air Canada is laying off more than 5,000 flight attendants as the country’s largest airline cuts routes and parks planes due to COVID-19.
Wesley Lesosky, who heads the Air Canada component of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), says the carrier is laying off about 3,600 mainline employees as well as all of Air Canada Rouge’s 1,549 flight attendants.
Temporary layoffs are effective April 30. CUPE says its hopeful conditions in the industry will improve and allow Air Canada to bring flight attendants back
— Richard Southern (@richard680news) March 20, 2020
The layoffs, which Lesosky says will take effect by April, affect roughly 60 per cent of flight attendants at the two segments.
Air Canada says the layoffs are temporary and employees will be returned to active duty status when the airline is able to ramp up its network schedule.
The Montreal-based company said Wednesday it will suspend the majority of its international and U.S. flights by March 31.
The airline’s stock has plummeted 76 per cent in two months, dropping steeply in the past two weeks as borders close and flight demand plunges.
With files from the Canadian Press.