Canada's largest passenger airline is gradually suspending the majority of its international and U.S. transborder flights by the end of this month. And thousands of cabin crew are going to be unemployed as a result.
Approximately 3,600 flight attendants on Air Canada are facing temporary layoffs, according to the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
Another CUPE 1,549 cabin crew members will be laid off at Air Canada Rouge.
The news has coincided with a sharp rise in Air Canada's share price, which had previously been pounded by the COVID-19 crisis. It fell from a 52-week high of $52.71 to an annual low this week of $9.26.
As of this writing, it's up more than 13 percent this morning and currently stands at $13.81.
The union says these notices take on April 30, at the earliest, but the flight attendants will return to work as conditions in the industry improve.
“This has been the most challenging time any of us will likely ever experience as flight attendants,” Wesley Lesosky, president of the Air Canada of CUPE, said in a news release. “Our members have been on the front lines of this crisis since day one, and it has been a tough journey ever since. Our hearts go out to all of our members, especially those who fell sick while doing their job.”
These flight attendants will be able to collect employment insurance.
CUPE represents about 10,000 flight attendants employed by Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge.