Air Canada outlines key steps in aviation recovery plan

Following a summit with the Canadian federal Minister of Transport, the Canadian airline Air Canada has published the key stages of its plan to relaunch aviation. Senior representatives of Air Canada met with the Canadian Minister of Transport alongside other participants. These steps are critical to getting operations back to normal at Air Canada. Just recently, Air Canada announced its intention to return to Bangkok after 6 years.

In a statement by Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada, Mr. Rousseau said: “At Air Canada, we know that every trip matters, especially today when many take the plane for the first time in years to see loved ones or take a long-awaited vacation. We are determined not to disappoint and have long been preparing for a wave of travel this summer, including coordinating with our industry partners.

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Reemploy workers

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Air Canada hard. At the height of the pandemic, Air Canada was forced to lay off workers. This decision was not taken lightly. In January 2021, Air Canada laid off 1,700 of its employees.

However, Canada’s largest airline announced this week that it has recalled all of its previously unemployed employees. Currently, Air Canada has 32,000 employees, down from about 33,000 before the pandemic, while operating about 80% of its June 2019 schedule.

Air Canada has recalled all of its staff laid off during the pandemic. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | single flight

In addition to employee recall, Air Canada has hired more than 2,000 employees to help customers on the ground with their queries. Employees were reassigned from other bases to augment specific airports, including the cross-use of cargo employees to assist with airport passenger operations.

Customer Experience Plans

Air Canada has identified many key measures to support the recovery. The plan includes new self-service re-arrangement tools, which will allow customers who have schedule changes, delays or cancellations to request a refund if they qualify or change their routes in minutes at the using Air Canada’s mobile app or website.

A second new policy will provide customers with free same-day standby options for earlier domestic/cross-border flights, regardless of fare brand or booking class.

Airport maps

Passengers transiting through Toronto Pearson have the option of extending their connection time. This benevolent policy allows customers to voluntarily increase their connection time free of charge for more flexibility when traveling. This policy can be applied within 48 hours of the original travel time.

Passengers transiting through Toronto have more flexibility. Photo: Toronto Pearson Airport

Air Canada also acquired additional ground handling vehicles to improve airport efficiency. The airline is also working closely with airports to improve and speed up customer processing throughout their journey.

“As all businesses around the world 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 work hard to serve our customers and transport them safely”,

Network upgrades

Air Canada has introduced a minimum connection time for flights from international and transborder connecting destinations to domestic destinations which has been increased by 30 minutes for new bookings in Toronto and Montreal, giving customers (and their baggage ) more time to connect.

Their schedule has been refined to reduce peak hours at Toronto-Pearson and Montreal-Trudeau airports by rescheduling and canceling some flights or reducing frequencies, where protection is offered to customers on the same day.

What do you think of the recovery plan? Have you traveled with Air Canada? Share your thoughts in the comments section.


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