Air Canada lays out air service cut plans
Published Saturday, July 5, 2008 12:29PM EDT
Air Canada has provided some details of what routes it will either be cutting in response to record-high fuel prices.
"Our preference is to reduce frequencies, downgauge aircraft and maintain the breadth of our network via alternate routings if necessary," the national carrier said Friday in a note on its website.
"We will continue to provide updates with further revisions to the fall and winter schedule as they become available."
The following routes have been cancelled:
- Calgary-Prince George: last date of operation June 2
- Hamilton-Montreal: last date of operation July 31
- Hamilton-Ottawa: last date of operation July 31
- Toronto-Port of Spain, Trinidad: last southbound flight Aug. 31; last northbound flight Aug. 31
- Montreal-Deer Lake: last date of operation Sept. 1
- Calgary-Comox, B.C.: last date of operation Sept. 2
- Vancouver-Osaka, Japan: last westbound flight Oct. 24; last eastbound flight Oct. 25
- Vancouver-Sacramento, Calif.: last date of operation Oct. 25
- Calgary-Palm Springs, Calif.: winter seasonal route will not operate this year
- Ottawa-Orlando, Fla.: winter seasonal route will not operate this year
The airline also announced the following seasonal suspensions:
- Toronto-Kelowna, B.C.: suspended for winter season effective Oct. 26
- Montreal-San Francisco: suspended for winter season effective Oct. 26
- Toronto-Rome: suspended for winter season effective Oct. 26
- Toronto-Madrid: suspended for winter season effective Oct. 26
Air Canada also plans to make reductions in the frequency of some flights:
- Vancouver-Beijing, to three times a week from daily
- Vancouver-Shanghai, to four times a week from daily
- Toronto-Tel Aviv, to three times weekly from five
On Thursday, regional carrier Jazz -- an Air Canada spinoff -- announced it would be eliminating 270 jobs and five per cent of its capacity to cope with fuel costs.
Last month, Air Canada warned it had to reduce capacity and cut 2,000 jobs in response to a fuel bill that will be $1 billion higher this year than it was in 2007.
The 2,000 jobs represent about eight per cent of Air Canada's workforce.
WestJet, Air Canada's main competitor, is reportedly looking at whether it can fill some of the routes that Air Canada is abandoning.
U.S. airlines have also been suffering in recent months. On Saturday, the Times of London reported that Moody's Investor Service is describing the business model of many major U.S. air carriers as "unsustainable."