Chorus Aviation Suspends Dividends, Fires Staff, Reduces Executive Salaries

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HALIFAX – Chorus Aviation Inc. is suspending its dividend, temporarily laying off staff and reducing executive salaries as it faces the fallout from COVID-19.

The company, which operates regional aircraft for Air Canada, said its main customer and partner reduced its network-wide capacity in the second quarter.

Air Canada Express flights were reduced by about 90% in April and May, resulting in significant reductions in temporary workers, said Chorus.

About 3,000 workers have been laid off temporarily or on leave, the company said in an email.

“While the majority of affected employees are active – pilots, flight attendants, customer service agents and line and heavy maintenance – reductions will occur across the organization and will include executive and administrative employees,” said spokesperson Manon Stuart.

The company will also suspend its dividend following its regular monthly payment to shareholders of four cents per share on April 17 in an effort to preserve cash and help strengthen its balance sheet.

In addition, CEO Joe Randell will give up 70% of his salary and members of the management team will give up 50% of their salary, the company said.

The board also reduced fees by 25%.



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