Trudeau Remains Mum On Airline Bailouts After Air Canada Announces Layoffs

Last Friday, Air Canada revealed plans to cut roughly 20,000 jobs from its workforce within the next three…

Trudeau Remains Mum On Airline Bailouts After Air Canada Announces Layoffs

Last Friday, Air Canada revealed plans to cut roughly 20,000 jobs from its workforce within the next three weeks. This has undoubtedly sent shockwaves through the airline and the Canadian aviation sector as the carrier is the largest in the country. When questioned about direct government assistance in the form of a bailout, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau would not provide a straightforward answer.

Air Canada, like many other large airlines around the world, is making cuts to the size of its workforce. Photo: Air Canada

Answering with non-answers

With such a significant plan for layoffs looming, reporters are looking to the government and the nation’s leader for a response – or at least a comment. The source for this has been daily press briefings held on the front steps of Ottawa’s Rideau Cottage. It is here that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been residing for much of the pandemic, addressing the public and answering the media almost every morning at 11:15 local time.

Unfortunately, media inquiries regarding government assistance for the flag carrier went largely unanswered. One thing we’ve noticed from Canada’s top politician is a tendency to give vague statements when it comes to questions he would prefer not to answer.

With Air Canada’s situation, the Prime Minister says that he plans to keep working with industries to support them:

“We’re going to continue to work with sectors and industries to try and support them as they get through this pandemic,”

Justin Trudeau canada pm
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has so far failed to give a clear answer on the topic of direct government assistance for Air Canada. Photo: Getty Images

“I think we all know that this pandemic has hit extremely hard on travel industries and on the airlines particularly…That’s why we’re going to keep working with airlines, including Air Canada, to see how we can help even more than we have with the wage subsidy.” -Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Indirect government assistance for Air Canada

Of course, while Trudeau remains vague on the issue of an airline bailout, a handful of government programs do exist that Air Canada and its employees can draw upon. There are two main programs that would help Air Canada’s employees:

  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) gives financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by COVID-19. Eligible Canadians can receive C$2,000 for 4 weeks (the same as C$500 a week). However, if applicant/recipient situations continue past four weeks, they will need to apply again, up to a total of 16 weeks.
  • And then, there is the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). With this, Canadian employers affected by COVID-19, including Air Canada, would be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 24 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to August 29, 2020. This wage subsidy is intended to help companies re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, and help prevent further job losses.

For the CERB, individuals would have to apply themselves and would, of course, only be eligible after being formally laid off. As for the CEWS, Air Canada had adopted this plan at the beginning of April. This allowed the airline to keep much of its workforce on payroll that it had initially intended to layoff.

We would have to assume that despite the 75% subsidization of wages, the airline is still unable to cover the remaining 25% for much of its workforce.

 

Air-Canada-Rehires-laid-off-staff-getty
The cuts are planned to take place on June 7th. Photo: Getty Images.

 

Conclusion

Many other industrialized nations have instituted bailout programs and packages for their major airlines. For example, conditional, airline-specific funding was delivered to American carriers as part of its CARES Act. Meanwhile, the French government is supporting Air France with €7 billion in assistance, with another €2-4 billion expected to go to KLM through the Dutch government soon.

We’ll just have to wait and see if the government of Canada responds similarly. For now, employees out of a job will have to seek government assistance themselves through the CERB.

Do you think that Canada should provide an airline-specific bailout package? Or do you think the existing COVID-19 relief measures are enough? Let us know in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

What's Your Reaction?

like
0
dislike
0
love
0
funny
0
angry
0
sad
0
wow
0

Next Article

COVID Accelerates The End Of The Inflight Magazine– Here’s Why That’s Good

In recent months, many international airlines have bid farewell to their inflight magazines. The glossy entertainment and duty-free…

COVID Accelerates The End Of The Inflight Magazine– Here’s Why That’s Good

In recent months, many international airlines have bid farewell to their inflight magazines. The glossy entertainment and duty-free filled catalogs are just one of the victims in the aviation industry amid the coronavirus pandemic. While some may lament the tradition and others their jobs writing for these publications, we take a look at whether the demise of the inflight magazine could actually be a good thing.

As airlines get ready for a return-to-service, some are getting rid of the inflight magazine. Photo: Getty Images

COVID-19 hits the inflight magazine

To stave off the transmission of the coronavirus and invite passengers back onto aircraft, airlines across the world have decided to get rid of their inflight magazines. The reason behind this is to reduce the number of touchpoints between individuals and the virus. Almost all airlines have now invested their time in more stringent cleaning measures to halt the spread of COVID-19. Removing magazines it just one additional action that could help.

However, this decision has not come without its consequences. Many writers, designers, and contributors to airline magazines have now lost their jobs. This was the case with one writer who explained his situation on Twitter.

In addition, the disappearance of the in-flight magazine also presents a conundrum for advertisers that rely on the mass readership of the magazines to drive sales. Yet, the disappearance of jobs is just one problem. Is there another way for airlines to distribute these magazines?

Woman reads inflight magazine
The inflight magazine is set to be a thing of the past but will it get a rebrand? Photo: Getty Images

Will the magazines return in another form?

The obvious answer is, of course, to distribute the magazines digitally. Ryanair has never offered a physical copy of its in-flight magazine. The current issues are online for download pre-flight. This does require passengers to be more proactive, but those looking for duty-free deals are likely to take advantage.

Air Canada had previously still published a hard-copy of its magazine, but it’s also available online. Airlines who follow a similar approach and offer WiFi on their flights could still be expected to reach similar levels of interest with these digital copies.

Another option for airlines is to follow Qantas’ forward-thinking strategy. It’s posting its inflight magazine ahead of time to its frequent fliers.

Passenger walks near Qantas flight
Qantas is mailing magazines to passengers ahead of time at the risk of additional CO2 emissions. Photo: Getty Images

Of course, both of these methods do not guarantee that airlines will get the custom that they used to, but there are still options that could keep some writers and advertisers in business. Although the purpose of removing in-flight magazines is largely for health and safety reaons, there is also a massive added benefit for the environment.

Digital inflight magazines are greener

It goes without saying that not printing inflight magazines is more environmentally conscious. The airline industry should be able to drive down its harmful impact on the environment by using less paper and fewer raw materials than before.

Glossy magazine pages do decompose, but the production of them can be an intensive process. To get the glamorous look and feel, minerals and resins must be used to make to pages shine.

South African inflight mag
In-flight magazines have been produced for nearly 70 years but was the environmental strain worth it? Photo: Getty Images

So, with fewer magazines produced, there will be fewer precious natural resources used as well as fewer waste items, recyclable or not. If airlines turn away from hard copies, the environment will be released from undue stress. That said, the correct approach is vital. Shipping individual magazines to frequent fliers, like Qantas, potentially raises the CO2 emissions produced per magazine. That’s because the publications will need to be delivered by fossil-fuel-powered vehicles.

However, it seems to this writer that the loss of the physical in-fight magazine can only be a good thing. Do you agree?

Do you think digital magazines will be suitable replacements for in-flight magazines? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.