Air Canada aircrafts are seen on the runway of Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, Jan. 13, 2021. Air Canada announced on Wednesday that it is laying off about 1,700 employees due to official travel restrictions against the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Liang Sen/Xinhua)
OTTAWA, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Air Canada announced on Wednesday that it is laying off about 1,700 employees due to official travel restrictions against the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic.
The largest airline of Canada is adjusting its network under its COVID-19 Mitigation and Recovery Plan by further reducing first-quarter system capacity by an additional 25 percent.
As a result of these system-wide changes, there will be a workforce reduction of approximately 1,700 employees, in addition to the over 200 impacted employees at its Express carriers.
With the 25 percent reduction, capacity in the first quarter of 2021 will be about 20 percent of what Air Canada operated in the first quarter of 2019.
The airline said it is not the news it is hoping to announce this early into the new year. "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."
Last week, the Canadian government required that anyone aged five and older flying into Canada show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken in the previous 72 or 96 hours, depending on the country.
The Canadian airline industry opposed the official order and said it would create confusion at departure gates and should be accompanied by relaxed quarantine requirements.
In today's announcement, Air Canada said that increased travel restrictions by federal and provincial governments in Canada have had an immediate impact on the company's bookings. Enditem