Air Canada prepares for a dogfight, internally and externally

Are you a current or former Air Canada employee? What do you have to say about Air Canada or the airline industry in general? Write your comments below, or e-mail theviewfromseven@gmail.com

After several years away from the airline, the return of Calin Rovinescu to become Air Canada’s new CEO is not exactly being greeted with enthusiasm by employees.

If media descriptions of Rovinescu as having a reputation for being a hatchet man are anything to go by, many Air Canada employees are expecting to be asked to make more concessions to help keep the airline out of bankruptcy, on top of those already made during the carrier’s previous round in front of the bankruptcy courts.

One Air Canada employee, identified on a discussion forum as “Freeway66”, wrote yesterday that, “One thing is certain, employee concerns and rights are not part of [Rovinescu’s] game plan. The Unions of Air Canada better do their homework on this guy and study his tactics… Talk to each other and start organizing for the battle to come.”

To which a co-worker called “Kabob” predicted that, “The company will take advantage of the ‘biggest recession’ in our time to push through changes that would be considered totally unacceptable in decent economic times.”

However, the recession hasn’t deferred plans to resurrect defunct Zoom Airlines as XPO Airlines, which will drain leisure traffic away from some of Air Canada’s transatlantic flights if it gets up and running — at a time when Air Canada’s high-fare business traffic is dropping, too.

Plus, WestJet announced last month that it has signed an agreement that would see WestJet pick up passengers in smaller markets like Winnipeg and then hand them over to Air France and KLM in Toronto and Montreal for the onward journey across the Atlantic. This will deprive Air Canada of its advantage as being the only Canadian scheduled airline that can take you from secondary markets like Winnipeg to Europe on a single ticket.

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About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

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