Air Canada Cuts Routes

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Air Canada has announced plans to cut routes from Calgary for the upcoming winter season to balance its broader operation.

The airline cites the industry-wide pilot shortage as a critical reason for the routes being cut. Ultimately, while Air Canada is the latest airline to announce slashes in routes to better aid the remainder of the network, they aren’t the first to cite the ongoing shortage of pilots as the reason for poor performance or network cuts.

Air Canada says that Calgary to Halifax, Ottawa, Los Angeles, Cancun, Honolulu or Frankfurt will be removed by the end of October—a substantial axing in services highlights the picture of the airline but reflects a broader problem.

Despite the announcement of services ceasing from Calgary, this doesn’t change Air Canada’s stance on the city as a critical location for the airline. The ongoing difficulties to continue offering a robust product to customers means cuts must occur.

The effects are significantly impacting the mainline because of regional operations. A spokesperson at Air Canada highlighted that the shortage of regional pilots means their network is hampered considerably. However, it also means that there are further strains and pressures on the resources at the mainline operation, from aircraft to staff.

During the height of the pandemic, airlines were forced to cut their employee base significantly, and the biggest casualty was experienced workers, including pilots. As travel demand has rebounded quicker than most expected, airlines have been left in a position where they don’t have enough employees to cover the roles available.

When considering the safety-critical roles in the industry, training someone to fill a part is costly and a long process. Those looking to become a pilot spend hundreds of thousands, if not more and make substantial sacrifices across a long period stretching, at times, a decade. It, therefore, isn’t an easy fix or career.

However, Canada’s flag carrier faces other struggles seen widely within the industry, primarily related to obtaining parts and seeing maintenance occur when necessary. The ongoing supply chain struggles mean that carriers globally struggle to keep up and ensure their aircraft are on time and fit to fly, potentially resulting in groundings in the worst-case scenario.

Daniel Fowkes
31 Aug 2023
· Routes 
· Uncategorized 

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  1. Do you know why they have a ‘regional pilot shortage?’ They didn’t bother to be proactive and chose to be reactive. This problem started forming over 8 months ago, and has gotten to a point where Porter pays almost twice the starting salary as Air Canada Express (jazz) for the exact same aircraft! $40,000 in Toronto is not a livable when you have $100,000 in student loans attached to your name. They shot themselves in the foot refusing to acknowledge the value of their pilots and are reaping the rewards

  2. Do you know why they have a ‘regional pilot shortage?’ They didn’t bother to be proactive and chose to be reactive. This problem started forming over 8 months ago, and has gotten to a point where Porter pays almost twice the starting salary as Air Canada Express (jazz) for the exact same aircraft! $40,000 in Toronto is not a livable when you have $100,000 in student loans attached to your name. They shot themselves in the foot refusing to acknowledge the value of their pilots and are reaping the rewards. They recently offered higher wages to their regional pilots but it’s still below market rate, so until they match or exceed to competition the regional bleed will continue

  3. 100% these genius managers can’t do what a ten year old is often taught to do. That is put 10% away of every dollar for future ” emergencies”! Like a Pandemic!!! So you don’t have to let go all your pilots! Or Nurses. Or whatever. Planning… this is what they lack. Greed is what they are. Good airlines poached our pilots! Good for them.

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