Desperate Airlines Await Bailout; Air Canada Lays Off 5,000
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March 20, 2020 - by Sandrine Rastello, Natalie Obiko Pearson and Sandra Mergulhao Bloomberg for www.financialpost.com
For airlines caught in the eye of the coronavirus storm, Canada's second fiscal act can't come soon enough.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government promised that a plan to help the industry would follow an C$82 billion ($56.9 billion) aid package announced Tuesday. Airlines say he'd better hurry. Providing too little money, too late could prove fatal for some.
"If nothing happens in the next couple of weeks we're going to see some people shut down," permanently said John McKenna, president of the Air Transport Association of Canada, which represents some smaller carriers including Porter Airlines and Sunwing Vacations. "What we need is a cash inflow."
His request echoes pleas from airlines around the world as carriers cut routes and staff to survive. Air Canada has laid off more than 5,000 flight attendants, the Canadian Press reported, citing a representative at the union that represents them.
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