Air Canada shifts capacity to Jazz subsidiary; 330 jobs affected

Air Canada shifts capacity to Jazz subsidiary; 330 jobs affected

Air Canada is shifting all of its service to nine Canadian cities to its regional Jazz subsidiary – a decision that will affect about 330 jobs at the mainline carrier.

Effective May 3, the only Air Canada service to Charlottetown, Fredericton, Moncton, Saint John, Quebec City and Thunder Bay will be provided by Air Canada Jazz, as Air Canada shifts capacity to its wholly-owned regional carrier.

Saskatoon, Regina and Whitehorse join the Jazz-only list on Oct. 1.

The number of Jazz flights to these cities will be increased.

Air Canada spokesperson Laura Cooke said the move would affect 330 employees, but said that didn't necessarily mean 330 layoffs. She said some employees could opt to transfer to other airports at the airline's expense. Others might be able to bump lower seniority employees at the main carrier. Others could take a severance package.

The affected employees are check-in, gate and ramp workers, Cooke said. No pilots or flight attendants are on the list.

Air Canada promises 'seamless' transition

"An expanded Air Canada Jazz regional jet fleet will allow us to realign our network to ensure that we deploy the right aircraft type to meet travel demand in each market we serve," said Air Canada vice president Ben Smith in a release.

When Air Canada was in creditor protection, it negotiated agreements with unions to allow for the transfer of capacity to Jazz.

"The realignment of Air Canada's domestic network is a key component in its business plan," said Air Canada Jazz CEO Joseph Randall.

"This change increases the efficiency and strengths of the North American network while Air Canada pursues new international opportunities," he said.

Air Canada said the transition to exclusively Air Canada Jazz operations in the nine cities would be "seamless to customers."