Canada's largest airline has to downsize due to the corona crisis. Some communities that are harder to reach are looking for replacements.
The corona crisis hit Air Canada hard. While the country’s largest airline is phasing out nearly 80 older aircraft, a reduction of more than half of the jobs is planned. The airline is also cutting back its route network.
Earlier this month, Air Canada announced that it would eliminate 30 regional routes. This is raising concerns among some remote communities in Canada, for whom the flights are an important link to the rest of Canada. According to the daily La Presse, the province of Quebec set up a crisis management group to deal with the cancelled flights.
Replacement flights from autumn
Quebec is currently negotiating with other regional airlines to organise replacement flights. In this province alone, eight airports are affected by the flight cancellations. Canada’s Federal Minister of Transport Marc Garneau and Quebec’s Minister of Transport François Bonnardel are present at the talks.
The replacement flights are scheduled to start in the fall. It is not yet clear which airlines could step in. In Canada, small airlines with a focus on short distances are abundant.
Air Canada’s regional flights were operated by its subsidiary Jazz Aviation. It operates a fleet of over 115 short-haul aircraft. With 66 of these, the Bombardier Dash 8 turboprop aircraft are the airline’s workhorse.