Air Transat laying off 70% of its employees

Mar 23 2020, 5:47 am

After announcing its flights would be suspended last week, Transat AT Inc says it will be laying off 70% of its workforce in Canada

According to the airline, the final Air Transat flight prior to the full suspension of its operations is scheduled for April 1.

“On March 18, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Transat announced the gradual temporary halting of all its flights until April 30,” said the company on Monday.

“Operations are being stopped gradually in order to enable Transat to repatriate as many of its customers as possible to their home countries.”

Air Transat said the lay offs would affect about 3,600 people, and some are effective immediately while others will take effect following advance notice of up to one month.

Layoffs include all flight crew personnel.

“We are very much in agreement with the measures being taken to fight the spread of the virus and protect the public’s health. As a community, we have to do what is necessary to stop the pandemic,” said Transat President and Chief Executive Officer Jean-Marc Eustache.

“These measures have forced us to totally suspend our operations. We have done this in such a way that none of our customers are stuck far from home, and we are in the process of bringing them back. We expect to have finished doing this by April 1, and we will then totally halt our flights.”

Eustache said that in order to safeguard the company, the company has to proceed with layoffs.

“We are doing this with great sadness and we hope that everyone will be able to return to work as quickly as possible.”

On March 18, Canada closed its borders to anyone who’s not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Additionally, Global Affairs Canada offered loans of up to $5,000 to help get Canadians home.