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Air Canada to lay off over 5,100 employees due to virus pandemic: union

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Air Canada will temporarily lay off more than 5,100 employees as it attempts to check the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the union representing the Canadian airline's flight attendants said on Friday.

[BENGALURU] Air Canada will temporarily lay off more than 5,100 employees as it attempts to check the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the union representing the Canadian airline's flight attendants said on Friday.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) said it was "deeply saddened" to learn that the airline would temporarily lay off about 3,600 of its members at Air Canada mainline and all 1,549 of its members at Air Canada Rouge.

CUPE, which represents about 10,000 flight attendants at Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge, said the layoffs were effective until Apr 30 at the earliest.

Air Canada has initiated discussions with its unions to begin placing employees on temporary, off-duty status, the company told Reuters on Friday.

"Employees would be returned to active duty status when we ramp up our network schedule as conditions allow," the company said in an emailed statement.

Earlier this week, Air Canada said it would gradually suspend the majority of its international and US trans-border flights by March 31 in response to the novel coronavirus crisis. REUTERS