Air Canada to suspend flights on 30 domestic routes due to pandemic hit

Air Canada said on Tuesday it would suspend flights on 30 domestic routes hit by persistent weak travel demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada’s largest carrier forecast third-quarter capacity would decline at least 75% from a year ago and warned that travel restrictions and border closures triggered by the pandemic were dimming prospects for a near- to mid-term recovery.

The carrier’s decision “will be very disappointing to the residents and communities affected by these service cuts,” Canadian Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said in a statement. “We understand this will have an impact on many Canadians across the country.”

Air Canada said it has reduced its workforce by about 20,000 employees, which represents more than 50% of its staff, and has permanently removed 79 aircraft from its fleet.

Air Canada added that it was closing eight stations at regional airports in Canada.

As part of a cost reduction and capital deferral program, Air Canada said it has identified around $1.1 billion in savings to date.