Air Canada Concludes Aviation Industry Summit with Top Minister

An Air Canada 787-9 Dreamliner flies over the Rocky Mountains.
Photo Credit: Air Canada

LONDON – Canadian flag carrier Air Canada concluded a high-level summit meeting with the Canadian Federal Transport on June 23 in Montreal. The Federal Minister was in attendance at the Aviation Industry Summit. 

The airline is optimistic about this year’s operations after 2 years of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. The airline’s President and CEO stated: “At Air Canada, we know every trip is important, even more so today as many are flying for the first time in years to see loved ones or take an eagerly anticipated holiday.”

“We are determined not to disappoint and have been long preparing for a travel surge this summer, including coordinating with our industry partners. As all businesses worldwide are finding, restarting after COVID is an extremely complex task and we deeply appreciate our customers’ understanding and patience during these often-frustrating times.”

“I also thank our dedicated employees who are working hard to serve our customers and transport them safely,” he concluded.

The Canadian flag carrier carries more than 120,000 people each day with more than 1,000 flights with an overcoming majority of flights scheduled. The airline is one of the great drivers of the Canadian economy as its citizens place lots of value on the airline to conduct flights within and to and from Canada.

The airline reiterates that it is committed to working alongside the federal government to enhance the aviation industry in Canada, in the spheres of safety, connectivity, and social – and economic development. 

This year, Air Canada has been restoring its network and readjusting its schedule accordingly to the rise in demand for air travel. The airline is officially now out of the woods but major hurdles remain, like the uncertainty from the rise in oil price from the Russian-Ukraine war.

Despite a fruitful and energetic summer ahead, the airline will operate below pre-Covid capacity as the industry comes to terms with structural challenges, especially worker shortages.

The airline has recalled its employees made redundant during the pandemic, alongside recruiting additional employees for the busy summer programme.

Prior to the pandemic, the airline employed 33,000 employees, whilst as of now, the airline has 32,000, which translates to 80% of the operations compared to summer 2019 levels. 

In fact, airport or ground staff are being valued more than ever. These front-line staff are the face of Air Canada. Further to what has been said, the airline took in extra 2,000 employees of airport employees and 774 more for call-centre roles.

These new intakes will be trained in time for the summer travel season. Moreover, the airline also rejigged its staff structure to be more customer orientated, giving more customer service training and flexibility in the workplace between operations and front lines. 

Apart from enhancing customer services, the airline also readjusts its connection network for international and domestic flights. The re-tweaking of schedules will reduce connecting times at hub airports, like Toronto-Pearson and Montreal. 

Air Canada is slowly regaining its pace after the demise of the pandemic. Though capacity hasn’t returned to pre-Covid levels, the airline is slowly making efforts to re-hire its employees and contribute to the Canadian economy.

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