Air Canada to begin laying off 15,000 employees amid pandemic-related flight cancellations

Air Canada will temporarily lay off more than 15,000 unionized workers beginning this week as the airline struggles with effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The layoffs will continue through April and May amid drastically reduced flight capacity at the Montreal-based airline.

Air Canada said Monday the two-month furloughs will affect about one-third of management and administrative and support staff, including head office employees, in addition to front-line workers.

The carrier is also cutting between 85 per cent and 90 per cent of its flights, cancelling most of its international and U.S. routes in response to the global shutdown.

Earlier this month, Air Canada’s flight attendants union said 5,149 cabin crew would be temporarily laid off because of the COVID-19 outbreak.