January 24, 2009

Air Canada cutting flight attendants

Air Canada says it will eliminate 345 flight attendant positions as it cuts its schedule and switches to smaller planes for some flights.

Airline officials said they also plan to cut one flight attendant in business class on all trans-Atlantic flights, the Toronto Star reported. Peter Fitzpatrick, an Air Canada spokesman, said trans-Atlantic flights will now have the same number of cabin crew as other Air Canada flights and the cuts will not hurt safety.

Last June, the airline announced the elimination of 2,000 jobs as it cut its schedule by 7 percent in an era of record-high fuel costs. Fitzpatrick said attrition and unpaid leaves had allowed Air Canada to avoid many of the anticipated layoffs.

Air Canada, the largest airline in the country, now employs 26,600 people. The company will be in negotiations with all its unions this spring.