Air Canada has said that it is indefinitely suspending service on 30 domestic regional routes and closing eight stations at regional airports in Canada. These structural changes to its domestic regional network are being made as a result of continuing weak demand for both business and leisure travel due to COVID-19 and provincial and federal government-imposed travel restrictions and border closures, which are diminishing prospects for a near-to-mid-term recovery.
As the company had previously reported, it 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.
The carrier has undertaken a range of structural changes including significant cost savings and liquidity measures, of which the announced service suspensions form part.
Other measures include workforce reduction of approximately 20,000 employees, representing more than 50% of its staff; company-wide Cost Reduction and Capital Deferral Programme; reduction of its system-wide capacity by approximately 85% in the second quarter compared to last year’s second quarter and permanent removal of 79 aircraft from its mainline and Rouge fleets.