Jazz Air eliminating 270 jobs, cutting service
Regional carrier Jazz Air LP said Thursday it is cutting 270 jobs and trimming its capacity by five per cent in the wake of cutbacks announced last month by Air Canada.
On June 17, Air Canada said it was chopping 2,000 jobs, and reducing domestic capacity by two per cent and transborder capacity by 13 per cent. Air Canada buys almost all of Jazz's fleet capacity.
The cutbacks stem from sharply higher fuel costs that airlines are paying with the rapid rise in the world price for oil.
"We are in a period of great uncertainty and cannot predict where the price of fuel is going," Joseph Randell, the president and chief executive officer of Halifax-based Jazz, said in a statement.
"While Jazz is already a lean organization and is in a reasonable position to manage its current challenges, every effort is being made to reduce our costs and to prepare for what may lie ahead," Randell said.
Manon Stuart, spokeswoman for Jazz, said the company and its unions will meet over the next few days to try to find ways to mitigate the layoffs.
"We'll look at things like job sharing, reduced work hours, voluntary separation programs and early retirement. We'll do all possible to minimize the disruption to the lives of our employees, basically," said Stuart.
She said it's too soon to say which routes will be cut because Air Canada has to make its decisions first.
Last month, Jazz said it will cease its Hamilton, Ont., operations at the end of July. The move eliminates 10 daily flights on service between Hamilton and airports in Ottawa and Montreal.
As of mid-June, Jazz had 840 employees in Atlantic Canada, including 680 at its headquarters in Halifax.
Jazz is a spinoff from Air Canada, and owned by Jazz Air Income Fund. Units of the fund lost almost five per cent on Thursday, falling 26 cents to close at $4.97 on the TSX.