The latest layoffs WestJet affect 3 333 employees, while the COVID-19 paralyzed the air transport industry

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div id=””> WestJet announced a number of organizational changes on June 24, that will affect the jobs of 3 333 employees, including the consolidation of the activity of the call centres in Alberta, the subcontracting of airport operations in many airports, and the restructuring of its offices and its staff of management.

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Measures are taken to position the company for “a future competitive after the crisis of the COVID-19”, said the airline based in Calgary in a message on its Web site.

The pandemic has seen the airline park two-thirds of its fleet after the closure of borders, which prompted her to suspend most of its schedule – including all international travel – at the end of march.

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Pandemic coronavirus: WestJet suspends international travel

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“Throughout the crisis of the COVID-19, we have had to make many difficult decisions. Today is the most difficult of all these difficult days as we seek to clarify thousands of our own employees on their roles at WestJet and the future of our airline, ” said the company in a Tweet.

WestJet will reduce its workforce by almost 6 900 people in the course of the pandemic COVID-19

WestJet will subcontract the airport operations in all domestic airports outside of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto.

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“During the greatest crisis in the history of aviation, WestJet has taken many difficult decisions, but essential, to ensure the sustainability of our business,” said Ed Sims, president and chief executive officer of WestJet.

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“Today’s announcement regarding these policy changes, but inevitable we will ensure the safety of our 10,000 WestJetters remaining and to continue the work of transformation of our company.

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“WestJet will respond again to the needs of canadian travellers with low fares and service levels award-winning tomorrow and in years to come.”

All in all, 3 of 333 employees across the country will be affected, said WestJet.

The company has stated that a priority in the selection of partners airport would be interviews with hiring preference for some of the 2,300 employees of the airport WestJet facing layoffs.

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“Here is a business that has cast a watchful eye on the future and has decided that she does not like what she sees,” said the professor of economics of the School of Public Policy, Ron Kneebone.

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“There is not so long ago, you will recall that he asked the government to open up air travel, and the government has not done so; therefore, I think they look to the future and realize that their business model has changed, perhaps forever, and that they should reduce their size to adapt to this. ”

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Travel will never be the same thanks to COVID-19

The crisis of the COVID-19 has been devastating to the aviation industry, because of the travel restrictions and fears about the virus have reduced the traffic.

Last week, less than 7 500 passengers arrived at canadian airports from the United States, down more than 98% compared to the previous year, according to the border services Agency of Canada.

The number of international passengers has decreased by 95% compared to the previous year, announced Wednesday the agency.

The ceos of the 27 canadian companies in sectors ranging from aviation to banks and telecommunications sector have called for a re-opening “measured” in the sky which would resume travel in all the provinces, and between some countries.

The airlines and the travel industry are asking that the restrictions be relaxed by the summer

Kneebone said that the canadian airlines have continued to shrink and grow, as well as disappear and reappear over the years, using companies such as Canadian Pacific, Canadian Airlines and Ward Air as examples.

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He said that WestJet was trying to stay afloat as long as possible to reappear on the other side of the pandemic as a profitable organization.

“Airlines come and go, and I think we’ll see a number of them, and I think that WestJet, with this decision, is, I think, to try to be part of those who remain,” said Kneebone.

“They can continue to be as they are – big – and perhaps die because of it or maybe they will shrink, and try to become profitable as a small business and then hope that, once the vaccine arrived, may have to come back . “The

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The planned activities of WestJet fell by over 90% from one year to the other.

WestJet said it had implemented cost-cutting measures immediately, including the release of a majority of external contractors, the implementation of a hiring freeze, stopping all travel and training non-essential, the suspension of all movements of role and internal pay adjustments, the reduction of salaries of officers, vice-presidents and directors and to suspend for more than 75% of its capital projects.

WestJet, which became private after the company’s toronto-based Onex Corp. has purchased the publicly-traded company, had employed 14,000 workers just before the outbreak of the pandemic in march, but now has a payroll of only 4 500.

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