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Air Canada reduces first-quarter capacity by 25 percent, cuts 1,700 jobs

Last Updated Jan 13, 2021 at 2:57 pm EST

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Air Canada says it will cut 1,700 jobs as it scales down flights for the first quarter of 2021.

The 25 percent reduction in service will also affect 200 employees at Air Canada’s Express carriers, the company said Wednesday morning.

With the reduction, Air Canada’s capacity in the first quarter of 2021 will be about 20 percent of its capacity during the first quarter of 2019, the company says.

RELATED: Air Canada using social media influencers to encourage travel while federal officials urge people to stay home

Lucie Guillemette, Air Canada’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said in a statement that increased travel restrictions by federal and provincial governments have had an immediate impact on the company’s bookings.

The domestics routes suspended until further notice, as of Jan. 23, include:

Additional domestic routes being suspended:

  • Fredericton-Montreal
  • Gander-Halifax
  • Goose Bay-Halifax
  • Kamloops-Vancouver
  • Ottawa-Calgary
  • Ottawa-Vancouver
  • Prince Rupert-Vancouver
  • Quebec City-Toronto
  • St. John’s-Toronto
  • Victoria-Calgary
  • Winnipeg-Calgary
  • Yellowknife-Edmonton


Air Canada notified airports in Atlantic Canada this week that it would cut additional routes in the region, suspending all flights in Gander, N.L., Goose Bay, N.L., and Fredericton, N.B., until further notice.

Air Canada is contacting affected customers to offer them options such as refunds or alternative travel arrangements.

With files from The Canadian Press

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