Canadian North to make staffing changes due to drop in charters

In a letter to staff, the president of Canadian North says 'all departments and employee groups will be affected by the erosion in our business' due to less activity in the Alberta oilsands.

Workforce adjustment could affect employees working in scheduled and chartered flights

Canadian North anticipates having to make staffing changes as a result of low oil prices and Alberta oil companies' scaled back demand for charter services. 

The airline says there will be workforce adjustments. It would not elaborate whether there will be layoffs, but a letter from the Canadian North president distributed to employees describes the changes.

Steve Hankirk wrote the company is bracing for a “significant loss in revenue for 2015” as a result of the drop in oil prices and “all departments and employee groups will be affected by the erosion in our business.”

This includes “staff reductions to match a reduced level of flying activity,” an ongoing hiring freeze and some cancelled training. The ratio of flight attendants to passengers will be 1-to-50. The company has also cancelled pay raises for non-union employees.

He says the company will answer questions from staff at town hall meetings Saturday in Calgary in Edmonton and next week in Iqaluit.

Hankirk says the changes are due, in part to Canadian Natural Resources suspending its cross-country charter program for this year. As of the middle of January, Esso will also be reducing its flying program.

Kelly Lewis, manager of communications for Canadian North, says scheduled flights in the North will not be affected.

However, employees who work in scheduled and chartered flights could be.

Lewis says the airline will not be commenting on staffing changes publicly.

“The entire airline industry is experiencing a decrease in demand from the energy sector so anybody that deals with charters will go through a series of period adjustments right now and obviously we have a charter business in our airlines so in light of this, I can say we will be making adjustments,” said Lewis.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.