#Montreal; #AirCanada; #SuspendedRoutes; #CancelledRoutes; #Covid19Pandemic
Montreal, Jun 30 (Canadian-Media): 30 domestic regional routes are being indefinitely suspended and eight stations at regional airports across Canada are being closed by Air Canada due to an unprecedented decline in demand for air travel as a result of COVID-19, media reports said.
Air Canada. Image credit: Official website
Canada's largest domestic and international airline, Air Canada is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2019 served over 51 million customers. Being a founding member of Star Alliance, Air Canada is the world's most comprehensive air transportation network.
Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to An independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which also named Air Canada the as 2019 Best Airline in North America.
The Montreal-based airline said Tuesday that these cuts are the result of continuing decline in demand for both business and leisure travel because of COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closures.
As the company has previously reported, Air Canada expects the industry's recovery will take a minimum of three years. As a consequence, other changes to its network and schedule, as well as further service suspensions, will be considered over the coming weeks as the airline takes steps to decisively reduce its overall cost structure and cash burn rate.
As a result of COVID-19, Air Canada reported a net loss of $1.05 billion in the first quarter of 2020, including a net cash-burn in March of $688 million. The carrier has undertaken a range of structural changes including significant cost savings and liquidity measures, of which today's announced service suspensions form part.
Other measures include: Approximately 20,000 employees were reduced from the workforce through layoffs, severances, early retirements and special leaves, representing more than 50 percent of its staff; around $1.1 billion in savings to date by a company-wide Cost Reduction and Capital Deferral Program; Its system-wide capacity reduced by approximately 85 percent in the second quarter compared to last year's second quarter and an expected third quarter capacity reduction of at least 75% from the third quarter of 2019; the permanent removal of 79 aircraft from its mainline and Rouge fleets; and raising approximatively $5.5 billion in liquidity since March 13, 2020, through a series of debt, aircraft and equity financings.
Further initiatives are being considered.
A full list of route suspensions and station closures is below.
The following routes will be suspended indefinitely as per applicable regulatory notice requirements. Affected customers will be contacted by Air Canada and offered options, including alternative routings where available.
Maritimes/Newfoundland and Labrador: Deer Lake-Goose Bay; Deer Lake-St. John's; Fredericton-Halifax; Fredericton-Ottawa; Moncton-Halifax; Saint John-Halifax; Charlottetown-Halifax; Moncton-Ottawa; Gander-Goose Bay; Gander-St. John's; Bathurst-Montreal; Wabush-Goose Bay; Wabush-Sept-Iles; Goose Bay-St. John's.
Quebec/Ontario: Baie Comeau-Montreal; Baie Comeau-Mont Joli; Gaspé-Iles de la Madeleine; Gaspé-Quebec City; Sept-Iles-Quebec City; Val d'Or-Montreal; Mont Joli-Montreal; Rouyn-Noranda-Val d'Or; Kingston-Toronto; London-Ottawa; North Bay-Toronto; and Windsor-Montreal
Western Canada: Regina-Winnipeg; Regina-Saskatoon; Regina-Ottawa; Saskatoon-Ottawa.
The Regional Airports where Air Canada is closing its stations are Bathurst (New Brunswick); Wabush (Newfoundland and Labrador); Gaspé (Quebec); Baie Comeau (Quebec); Mont Joli (Quebec); Val d'Or (Quebec); Kingston (Ontario); North Bay (Ontario)