Chorus Aviation Comments on Air Canada’s Discontinuation of Service to Certain Regional Markets

From Chorus Aviation Inc

HALIFAX, NS, June 30, 2020 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (TSX: CHR) (‘Chorus’) provides the following comment on Air Canada’s announcement earlier today regarding the discontinuation of service to certain regional markets.

Air Canada has announced the discontinuation of 30 regional routes, 21 of which are operated by Jazz Aviation LP (‘Jazz’), and the closure of eight stations at regional airports, all of which are managed by Jazz. Details of the route suspensions and station closures are provided in Air Canada’s news release.

“The COVID-19 crisis and provincial and federal government-imposed travel restrictions and border closures are having a significant negative effect on passenger demand for Canadian air travel,” commented Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus.  “I am saddened by the impact today’s announcement will have on our employees, suppliers and the affected communities, but respect and understand the difficult choice our partner, Air Canada, has had to make.”

Jazz and Air Canada are parties to a capacity purchase agreement (the ‘CPA’) with a term extending through the end of 2035. Under the CPA, Air Canada purchases substantially all of Jazz’s fleet capacity and pays certain fixed margin fees, performance incentives and compensation for operating costs (including aircraft lease rents) and makes all decisions with respect to marketing that capacity. Jazz’s compensation does not vary with flight activity and remains unchanged with this announcement.

Workers at Jazz Aviation and Exploits Valley Air Services oppose service reduction announcement

From Unifor

TORONTO, June 30, 2020 /CNW/ – Jazz Aviation and EVAS represented by Unifor Local 2002 are disappointed with Air Canada’s major reduction in services announcement.

 “Airline workers should not have to continue to bear the burden of this global pandemic’s economic effects due to ongoing travel restrictions,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “What workers need is for the federal government to take immediate action to develop an effective airlines strategy that preserves Canadian jobs.” 

The reduction in service was announced because of ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions as part of the government’s pandemic response. Air Canada announced today that approximately thirty routes have been cancelled and eight airport stations will be closed indefinitely.  

“We fully understand the difficult situation the pandemic has created for the global industry, but our airline workers are counting on the Prime Minister to take leadership to support and preserve Canada’s airline industry,said Euila Leonard, President of Unifor Local 2002.

On March 28, 2020, Unifor joined with other Canadian airline unions in sharing concerns and providing solutions to help bring stability and prosperity back to the industry. Unifor has specifically called on the government to ensure that any aid package delivered to any sector, including air travel, must be accompanied by strong, enforceable conditions that ensure funds are dedicated to maintaining current workers’ income and creating new opportunities for employment.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

Information about the union’s response to the pandemic, as well as resources for members can be found at unifor.org/COVID19.

Jazz Aviation honoured with Outstanding Commitment to Employment Equity award

From Chorus Aviation Inc

HALIFAX, May 25, 2020 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) is proud to announce that its subsidiary, Jazz Aviation LP (‘Jazz’), is a recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Commitment to Employment Equity award. Each year, Employment and Social Development Canada recognizes federally regulated private-sector employers and federal contractors for their efforts in implementing employment equity in their workplaces. Previously, Jazz received the Sector Distinction award in 2018 and 2017.

“We are honoured to be recognized for our commitment to employment equity,” said Randolph deGooyer, President, Jazz. “Over the last decade, we have been on a journey to evolve our culture into one that actively celebrates and truly values diversity. We have implemented a number of industry-leading initiatives that have contributed to making our workspaces more inclusive and creating a sense of belonging for our employees.”

The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, announced the 2019 Employment Equity Achievement award winners in a news release issued May 20, 2020. The Outstanding Commitment to Employment Equity award recognizes employers that have demonstrated outstanding commitment in implementing their employment equity plans by instituting measures to remove barriers, adopting special measures, and/or establishing positive policies and practices to achieve tangible results.

Canadian airline passengers are entitled to vouchers for cancelled flights from COVID-19 — but what about refunds?

News from Vancouver Sun – link to story

Author of the article: Emily Jackson  •  14 May 2020

Air Canada is offering refunds to customers who bought refundable tickets and offering 24-month vouchers to the rest. COLE BURSTON/BLOOMBERG FILES

As Canada’s largest airlines cut capacity and cancel dozens of routes even as summer travel season approaches, airlines and travellers on both sides of the Atlantic are continuing the debate over whether passengers with travel plans foiled by COVID-19 are entitled to full refunds or vouchers for future travel.

On Wednesday, the European Commission confirmed passengers have the right to full refunds within seven days despite pressure from 16 member states to temporarily relax the regulations to allow for vouchers so cash-strapped airlines don’t collapse.

Instead of amending the rules, the European Commission issued a non-binding suggestion that airlines offer more attractive vouchers, refundable after one year and transferable to another traveller.

The decision outraged European airline associations, who have decried the commission’s decision given airlines have no cash coming in yet and are facing up to €9.2 billion in cash reimbursements through the end of May, according to the International Air Transport Association.

The IATA noted the refund rules were not designed to deal with mass cancellations caused by a global pandemic — and emphasized that Canada allows the voucher approach.

“While passengers have a clear right to reimbursement of their tickets, we believe refundable vouchers, or a delayed reimbursement, represents a fair and reasonable compromise given the unprecedented liquidity situation airlines are currently facing,” Airlines for Europe managing director Thomas Reynaert said in a statement.

A woman walks through a mostly empty Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, on May 12, 2020.
A woman walks through a mostly empty Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, on May 12, 2020. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

The United States also requires airlines to provide refunds when the carrier cancels or significantly changes a passenger’s flight, but customer complaints about refunds have soared since the pandemic.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation said it received 25,000 complaints in March and April, up from a typical 1,500 complaints per month. The department issued its second enforcement notice on the matter since travel restrictions began, reminding airlines that they may offer vouchers as long as they also give customers the option of a refund.

“The department is asking all airlines to revisit their customer service policies and ensure they are as flexible and considerate as possible to the needs of passengers who face financial hardship during this time,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said in a statement.

The issue is particularly charged in the U.S. given the federal government’s US$50-billion bailout for major airlines.

Meanwhile in Canada, full refunds are but a wish for customers who booked standard tickets since cancelled. Instead, most Canadian airlines are offering 24-month travel vouchers.

Canada’s air passenger protection regulations require airlines to ensure customers can complete their trips when flights are cancelled for reasons outside the airlines’ control, but they do not mandate refunds in such circumstances.

In late April, the Canadian Transportation Agency said the vouchers could be a “reasonable approach in the extraordinary circumstances.”

“Vouchers for future travel can help protect passengers from losing the full value of their flights, and improve the odds that over the longer term, consumer choice and diverse service offerings ­— including from small and medium-sized airlines — will remain in Canada’s air transportation sector,” it stated.

Passengers can file complaints with the CTA if they believe they are entitled to a refund, although the agency has paused all dispute resolution activities until June 30. It did not respond to questions on Wednesday on how many complaints have been filed.

Parked WestJet Boeing 737 aircraft fill an unused runway at the Calgary International airport on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
Parked WestJet Boeing 737 aircraft fill an unused runway at the Calgary International airport on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. GAIN YOUNG/POSTMEDIA NEWS FILES

The National Airlines Council of Canada, which represents Air Canada, WestJet, Jazz and Transat, supports the CTA’s guidance that vouchers are acceptable given the financial and operational crisis the pandemic caused.

“The industry is reeling from the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 90 per cent of capacity pulled from the market, billions of dollars worth of aircraft parked, and virtually no revenue coming in,” NACC president Mike McNaney said in an email.

But some passengers hope to band together to get their money back in court. In April, a plaintiff filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Air Canada, WestJet, Transat, Swoop and Sunwing. It argues customers are entitled to refunds under contract law for frustrated contracts. The defendants have yet to file a statement of defence and the action has not yet been certified.

For its part, WestJet, which on Sunday announced it would suspend three dozen routes between June and July, said it “values the feedback we are receiving from our guests and appreciates how difficult this unprecedented situation is for all.”

The airline is monitoring the legal frameworks in every jurisdiction it operates, a spokesperson said in an email, adding it has waived rebooking fees and extended vouchers to 24 months.

Air Canada is offering refunds to customers who bought refundable tickets and offering 24-month vouchers to the rest.

Financial Post

From passengers to cargo: How airlines are overhauling their business – and their planes

News from The Globe and Mail – link to story and updates

Matthew McClearn ~ 11 May 2020

Air Canada’s first Boeing 777-300ER converted for cargo service, seen here, carried personal protective equipment from Shanghai to Toronto last month.COURTESY OF MANUFACTURER

More than a quarter of a century after retiring its last dedicated freighter, Air Canada is back in the business of flying exclusive cargo flights.

Last month, the passenger airline removed seats from four Boeing 777 300ERs, more than doubling the space available for goods on the planes. The aircraft are primarily moving masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment necessary to combat COVID-19 from Shanghai to Canada. The airline also plans to convert four Airbus A330s to serve routes to Europe and South America.

“We weren’t looking to be in the freighter business until this moment,” said Tim Strauss, the airline’s vice-president of cargo. “We’re doing this so we can get more PPE equipment back into Canada faster than could have been done otherwise.”

American Airlines and Finland’s Finnair have also rapidly converted aircraft into freighters, and new announcements arrive weekly. Now everyone from ground crews to airport officials to regulators are scrambling to adapt to these strange hybrid planes.

While not unprecedented, such wholesale repurposing of aircraft occurs only during humanitarian crises, said Jonathan McDonald, an analyst with aviation consultancy IBA. Rare examples included large-scale airlifts after a tropical cyclone destroyed Darwin, Australia, in 1974, and during famines in Ethiopia.

“In history, yes, there have been one-off events. You had the Berlin Airlift, I suppose, but that’s going back 70-plus years.”

Normally, people are a passenger airline’s most valuable cargo. But COVID-19 halted most human traffic and grounded fleets worldwide. Because passenger jets also carry cargo – typically high-value goods that justify increased air shipping costs – the result was a dramatic drop in available capacity for urgent shipments.

“In the pre-COVID-19 environment, 70 per cent of our cargo was travelling in the bellies of passenger aircraft,” said Craig Bradbrook, vice-president of aviation services at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which runs Pearson International Airport. “The airlines have scrambled to look at ways in which they can continue to move cargo.”

In a bid to replace some of that lost capacity and a small fraction of the revenue they’ve lost as a result of COVID-19 travel bans, airlines began flying cargo-only flights. At first, some airlines strapped boxes onto seats in passenger compartments. But Air Canada quickly realized this approach risked damaging the pricey video entertainment systems on seat backs. Moving cargo in passenger cabins is also slow and cumbersome.

The airline’s maintenance chief, Richard Steer, suggested removing the seats and stuffing cargo into the cabin. Canada’s aviation regulator, Transport Canada, responded encouragingly to the proposal. Air Canada partnered with Avianor, a firm that specializes in commercial jet cabins, to convert the 777s at Montréal-Mirabel International Airport.

Late last month, Jazz Airlines (which operates as Air Canada Express) announced plans to convert up to 13 of its Dash 8-400 aircraft using a “simplified package freighter” kit provided by the manufacturer, De Havilland Canada. De Havilland is in the process of introducing kits for earlier Dash 8 models.

Todd Young, De Havilland’s chief operating officer, said his company already had a program in the works to convert Dash 8s into dedicated freighters. After COVID-19 struck, the company realized it needed a more immediate solution.

“We wanted to keep our airplanes flying,” he said. “We wanted our customers to have options, to be able to perform a different mission than transporting personnel or passengers from point to point.”

Since announcing the conversion kits with Jazz, five international customers have placed their own orders, Mr. Young said.

Passenger airliners were routinely converted for cargo service before the pandemic; manufacturers such as Boeing, as well as third parties, have been doing brisk business in recent years. But proper conversions are a one-way trip, typically reserved for mid-life jets. Seats, overhead bins and “monuments” such as areas designated for flight attendants and catering are removed. A new, larger door is cut. Floors are reinforced, windows are plugged, and cargo handling systems and fire suppression equipment are installed. Afterward, a converted plane can be expected to haul cargo for 15 years or more.

Such changes permanently alter an aircraft’s balance and weight; it can take years to satisfy regulators that a given conversion process produces jets that are safe to fly.

They’re also costly. Mr. McDonald said the price for a 737-400 can be up to US$3-million. For wide-body aircraft such as 767s, it’s about US$14-million.

These COVID-19 conversions are rapid and inexpensive by comparison. Air Canada’s 777s, for instance, are far too young to be candidates for permanent conversion. “It’s very much a temporary role change for the aircraft,” Mr. McDonald said. “There’s obviously very good intentions, it’s humanitarian, it’s doing your bit to fight this bloody coronavirus, and it provides utilization for aircraft, which would otherwise just be sitting.”

The limited nature of the changes also helps comfort regulators. De Havilland’s conversion kits, for instance, couldn’t be more straightforward. Operators remove the seats and install tie-down fittings to hold 17 nets for securing cargo inside the passenger compartment. Aircraft can be converted overnight, Mr. Young said.

To facilitate regulatory approval, Air Canada sought a much lower maximum cargo weight than a 777 is capable of carrying – no great sacrifice, because PPE doesn’t weigh much. The aircraft’s lock system for seats is compatible with hardware for securing nets, further simplifying matters.

“We made it as simple to approve as you could possibly make it,” said Mr. Strauss, who praised Transport Canada’s rapid accommodation.

Mr. Strauss said Air Canada would like to convert some 787s as well, but those aircraft feature different seat locking mechanisms. “That would have taken a whole different certification process and much, much longer time,” he said. “Who knows if you’d even have it done this year?”

Airlines and regulators aren’t the only party forced to adapt to these unusual hybrid aircraft. Ground handlers must also figure out how to work with them.

“It’s still a passenger aircraft in terms of design,” Mr. Bradbrook said. “The door apertures are for passengers. They were never designed to take bulk cargo. So we’ve had to work with airlines and ground handlers to look at new processes for loading and unloading cargo piece by piece.” GTAA has provided mobile roller beds to handlers, and some airlines are using catering trucks to load cargo onto the main deck.

Gradually, efficiency is improving. Air Canada’s first loading in Shanghai late last month took five hours, but with optimization and experience that was quickly compressed to one hour and 15 minutes – all while maintaining physical distancing.

But temporarily converted planes will never be as efficient or inexpensive to operate as dedicated freighters. They introduce new costs: Crew members are required in cabins on temporarily converted Dash 8s to monitor packages and react in the event of fire, for example. And they’ll never replace passengers, which Mr. Strauss said usually brings in at least five times as much revenue a kilogram as cargo does.

Moreover, routes typically enjoy two-way traffic. Yet during COVID-19, cargo often moves in only one direction, for example from China to Canada.

All that helps explain today’s sky-high air cargo rates. Mr. Bradbrook said he’d heard they’d tripled. “The rates are high,” Mr. Strauss said. “I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”

Asked how many more temporary conversions will take place during COVID-19, Mr. McDonald said he couldn’t hazard a guess.

“In order to make a reliable forecast, sometimes you need past data to gauge trends and habits. This is such a new phenomenon that you can’t gauge to what extent people are going to do this. It’s still very early days.”

Jazz Aviation and Air Canada Cargo to be First to Operate Routes with Dash 8-400 Aircraft Simplified Package Freighter Developed by De Havilland Canada

From Air Canada

Jazz Aviation and Air Canada Cargo to be First to Operate Routes with Dash 8-400 Aircraft Simplified Package Freighter Developed by De Havilland Canada

  • Re-configured aircraft can carry a total of 18,000 lbs [8,165 kg] cargo in cabin and belly
  • Enables transport of critical supplies to regional Canadian communities

HALIFAX and MONTREAL, April 24, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (“Chorus”) and its subsidiary Jazz Aviation LP (“Jazz”) announced today that Jazz and Air Canada, through its freight division Air Canada Cargo, will begin operating the recently approved Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter developed by De Havilland Canada to short and medium haul markets under the Air Canada Express banner. These reconfigured aircraft will carry a total of 18,000 lbs [8,165 kg] of cargo in the passenger cabin and belly.

“De Havilland Canada’s Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter will allow us to redeploy aircraft, while contributing to the collective fight against COVID-19 by supporting our customer, Air Canada, in the delivery of essential cargo,” said Randolph deGooyer, President, Jazz Aviation LP.  

“This aircraft will allow us to provide critical cargo lift on short and medium-haul routes that have been impacted by the reduction of passenger flights,” said Tim Strauss, Vice-President Air Canada Cargo. “The converted cabin, which can accommodate a cargo volume of 1,150 cubic feet is perfectly suited to loose load cargo like medical supplies, PPE and other goods needed to support the ongoing fight against COVID-19.”

Under an agreement with De Havilland Canada, Jazz has ordered a Service Bulletin and conversion kit that will be applied to the first of 13 select Dash 8-400 aircraft. De Havilland Canada will be the exclusive supplier of all future Dash 8-400 aircraft Simplified Package Freighter modifications for Jazz’s fleet. 

To facilitate the cargo-only flights, Air Canada Cargo has created five, segment-specific sales teams to focus on the unique needs of customers at different levels in the supply chain. Enquiries from shippers interested in Air Canada Cargo’s services may be sent to a special freighter email address that is monitored 24 hours per day: AC.freighter@aircanada.ca.

About Chorus Aviation and Jazz Aviation
Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Chorus’ vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz Aviation and Voyageur Aviation – companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service. Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompasses every stage of an aircraft’s lifecycle, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing and preparation; contract flying; aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning.

Jazz Aviation LP has a strong history in Canadian aviation with its roots going back to the 1930s. As the largest regional carrier in Canada, Jazz has a proven track record of industry leadership and exceptional customer service and has leveraged that strength to deliver value to all its stakeholders. Jazz, under the Air Canada Express brand, operates more flights and flies to more Canadian destinations than any other airline, and has a workforce of approximately 5,000 professionals, highly experienced in the challenging and complex nature of regional operations.

About Air Canada and Air Canada Cargo
Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which also named Air Canada the 2019 Best Airline in North America.

Through its cargo division, Air Canada has been using mainline aircraft that would otherwise be parked to operate cargo-only flights. The aircraft on these flights carry no passengers but move in their baggage holds time-sensitive shipments, including urgent medical supplies, and goods to support the global economy. Air Canada has reconfigured the passenger cabins of three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to give them additional cargo capacity, doubling the cargo capacity of those aircraft.

Air Canada Cargo, the freight division of Air Canada, provides cargo service to over 450 cities worldwide, with self-handled hubs in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Chicago, London and Frankfurt that allow for rapid shipment of goods.

Jazz Aviation to be First Operator of Dash 8-400 Aircraft Simplified Package Freighter Developed by De Havilland Canada

From De Havilland Aircraft of Canada 

  • Re-configuration of aircraft approved by Transport Canada to support airlift of freight during COVID-19 pandemic

TORONTO, April 23, 2020 /CNW/ – De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada”) and Jazz Aviation LP (“Jazz”) announced today that Jazz will be the first operator for the recently approved Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter. Under the agreement, Jazz has ordered the Service Bulletin and conversion kits for up to 13 Dash 8-400 aircraft. De Havilland Canada will be the exclusive supplier of all future Dash 8-400 aircraft Simplified Package Freighter modifications for Jazz’s fleet.

“We are delighted to be the first operator for the Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter and congratulate De Havilland Canada and Transport Canada on offering this sound solution,” said Randolph deGooyer, President, Jazz Aviation LP.  “This innovative opportunity will allow us to redeploy aircraft while contributing to the collective fight against COVID-19 by supporting our customer – Air Canada – and the delivery of essential cargo.”

“The reconfiguration of Dash 8-400 aircraft into Simplified Package Freighters can be quickly achieved by the removal of seats and seat track covers in the passenger cabin. The reconfiguration, which includes the use of up to 17 nets will provide a potential total payload of up to 17,960 lb. and a total cargo volume of up to 1,150 cubic feet per aircraft,” said Todd Young, Chief Operating Officer, De Havilland Canada. “We will work with Jazz to quickly put their Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighters into service and look forward to supplying this solution to other Dash 8-400 aircraft operators around the world to assist in the re-deployment of their fleets to meet the growing demand for airlift of essential supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.”  

Jazz Aviation workers latest to benefit from COVID-19 wage supplement

From Unifor

TORONTO, April 9, 2020 /CNW/ – Unifor welcomes the federal government’s tentative approval of Canada Emergency Wage Supplement (CEWS) funds for Jazz Aviation to maintain its workforce levels during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Airline workers will be the backbone of the industry’s economic recovery in a post-pandemic world,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “It makes perfect sense to help cushion the impact of the temporary downturn with federal emergency funding.”

On April 8, 2020 Air Canada announced that it would use CEWS funding to top up the wages of more than 3,000 workers on lay-off due to COVID-19.

Jazz, a regional Air Canada partner airline, recently announced it was putting nearly 1,300 Unifor members in customer service, maintenance, and crew schedulers on Off Duty Status.  Today, Jazz says it plans to access the CEWS to recall all employees on voluntary or involuntary layoff. Today’s announcement by the company is still subject to passing of the government emergency legislation. The company will allow employees to stay at home while receiving 75 per cent of their wages to a maximum of $847 weekly.

“Airline workers are one of the thousands of Canadian front-line workers in the global effort to contain the virus,” said Euila Leonard, President of Unifor Local 2002. “Although there are still details to be ironed out with the program, signing off on the deal was the right thing to do for our members. Jazz’s commitment to work with Unifor is a recognition of the role our members play in making the company a successful regional carrier.”

On March 28, 2020, Unifor joined with other Canadian airline unions in sharing concerns and providing solutions to help the industry return to economic health and prosperity. Unifor has called on the government that any financial aid package delivered to any industry, including air travel must be accompanied by strong, enforceable conditions that ensure financial aid is tied to maintaining income for current employees and creating employment.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

Chorus Aviation Announces Jazz’s Intention to Adopt the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

From Chorus Aviation Inc

HALIFAX, April 9, 2020 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (“Chorus”) is announcing the intention of its subsidiary, Jazz Aviation LP (“Jazz”), to adopt the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (‘CEWS’). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Air Canada Express flying operations undertaken by Jazz have been reduced by approximately 90% until at least the end of May, and Jazz expects to incur significant revenue losses for the last half of March and the second fiscal quarter. Any near-term recovery in Jazz’s flight operations depends exclusively on the lifting of domestic and trans-border travel restrictions and protocols.

As of March 15, 2020, Jazz’s active workforce in Canada consisted of approximately 5,000 employees. On April 6, 2020, Chorus announced significant measures to reduce costs and bolster its liquidity. This included the difficult decision to reduce Jazz’s workforce by approximately 60%, or 3,000 employees. Subject to the adoption of the CEWS into law, Jazz intends to adopt the CEWS to assist its employees.

“Our employees are amongst the best in the business and play an integral role in supporting Air Canada’s domestic and trans-border operations. I’m particularly pleased that our unionized labour groups support this initiative as we are hopeful the CEWS will provide much needed support to our employees through this difficult period,” stated Randolph deGooyer, President of Jazz.  

“I applaud the members of our federal government for tabling this important subsidy to help employers and their employees manage through this very uncertain time,” stated Joe Randell, President and CEO, Chorus. “Every measure must be taken to preserve our strength and resources in order to successfully emerge from this crisis when it abates.” 

All areas of the organization are under review with the objective of reducing costs to ensure a strong company that is ready to resume normal operations as soon as possible.

For further information regarding the Capacity Purchase Agreement (‘CPA’) under which Jazz performs flight operations for Air Canada, please refer to Chorus’ Annual Information Form dated February 12, 2020.

Jazz Aviation Wins Canada’s Best Diversity Employers Recognition for the Ninth Consecutive Year

Provided by Chorus Aviation Inc/CNW

HALIFAX, March 6, 2020 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) is honoured to announce that its subsidiary, Jazz Aviation LP (‘Jazz’), has been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the ninth consecutive year by MediaCorp Canada Inc.

“At Jazz, we encourage work environments that build on the diverse perspectives, experiences and abilities of our employees,” said Randolph deGooyer, President, Jazz. “We are proud to be recognized for the ninth year in a row for our dedication to diversity and inclusion.”

Canada’s Best Diversity Employers recognizes the nation’s top employers who have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs. The competition recognizes successful diversity initiatives in a variety of areas, including programs for employees from five groups: women; members of visible minorities; persons with disabilities; Indigenous peoples; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered/transsexual (LGBT) people.

MediaCorp Canada Inc. recognized Jazz due to the many initiatives the airline has developed and supported, including the “Gender Transition in the Workplace” policy and guide for managers who are supporting an employee through a gender transition. Another example is the Jazz Aviation Pathway Award for Professionalism and Diversity; over $30,000 available to be awarded annually via scholarships to full-time aviation students in their final year who have self-identified as Indigenous, a person with a disability, a visible minority or woman for outstanding contributions to safety, leadership and professionalism.