July 14, 2008

Air Canada May Lay Off 632 Attendant Jobs and Close Two Bases

Air Canada is likely to eliminate 632 in-flight jobs or 9% of the total workforce, and close two attendant bases, as a cost-cutting exercise fueled by the rising jet fuel cost.

The move is expected to affect 300 positions in Vancouver, 187 in Halifax, Nova Scotia and 145 jobs in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The airline also plans to close attendant bases in Winnipeg and Halifax. It plans to reduce capacity by 7%.

The elimination is expected to affect many senior employees, with 20 to 40 years of experience, in ticketing, call-center and airports-reservations jobs.

Bloomberg quoted Nick Beveridge, vice president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees chapter that represents the 7,000 Air Canada flight attendants, as saying: "Closing the two bases is a huge thing. They're using the issue of fuel to cut costs where they can."