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Globe article on former Air Canada CEO Ben Smith's experience with Air France - KLM group.

 

"...“Our hypothesis is that it will take us at least until 2024 to come back to the same capacity and revenue numbers we had in 2019,” Mr. Smith said......"

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/commentary/article-mr-smith-goes-to-paris-and-finds-he-has-to-save-the-same-airline-twice/

 

 

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Pressure on Porter increasing .

Canadian national flag carrier Air Canada says it will start flying from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) to Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport (YOW) beginning October 31, 2021. In a statement released on October 7, 2021, the Montreal-headquartered airline said it would offer four daily roundtrip flights from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) to the Canadian capital. Air Canada added that the service would increase to eight daily flights next summer.

And another says they will be starting up.  Connect Airlines: North America's Odd New Airline - One Mile at a Time

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2 hours ago, Kargokings said:

Pressure on Porter increasing .

Canadian national flag carrier Air Canada says it will start flying from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) to Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport (YOW) beginning October 31, 2021.

Why this wasn't done from the get go is mind boggling. Way too much YUL capacity which I'm sure was losing money especially with the exorbitant fees at YTZ.

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On 10/9/2021 at 1:21 PM, spreadsheet said:

Why this wasn't done from the get go is mind boggling. Way too much YUL capacity which I'm sure was losing money especially with the exorbitant fees at YTZ.

AC is limited by slots at YTZ. With previous demand level it made sense to use 100% for YUL as there would not be adequate slots for a decent timetable to YOW (pre-COVID).

Now with COVID affected reduced demand for business travel in the eastern triangle, AC can allocate some YUL slots to YOW.

AC would probably also like to increase slots. Will be interesting to see where that goes if Porter is not using all of their allocated slots.

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I don't think I've ever seen International services expanded with so little pre-sale, and I have to think strong cargo rates are a factor. Everything I see about the cargo situations tells me volumes and rates will remain high well into the future, and passenger airlines are even likely to place more emphasis in making fleet acquisition and deployment decisions on the freight component.

 

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/air-canada-expands-capacity-from-eastern-canada-to-india-launches-new-non-stop-service-from-montreal-to-delhi-868404873.html

 

Toronto service is increasing from daily to 10x weekly

Route from Montreal begins October 31 with three flights a week

MONTREAL, Oct. 13, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada announced today a strategic expansion of its India services, with additional flights from Toronto, and a new year-round, non-stop route between Montreal and Delhi. Starting October 31, just in time for Diwali celebrations, Air Canada will offer three flights per week to the growing Indian community in Montreal. Additionally, the airline is increasing frequency to Delhi from Toronto to ten flights per week beginning Oct. 15. All flights will be operated with Air Canada's most modern aircraft, the 298-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner featuring a choice of three cabins of service: Air Canada Signature Class, Premium Economy and Economy class.

"The Canada-India market is an important and strategic one for Air Canada. These additional flights and new route demonstrate Air Canada's anticipation about the promise and growth of the Indian subcontinent– and we also look forward to further strengthening the cultural and business ties between our two countries," said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada. "Today's announcement also confirms Air Canada's commitment to growing its main hubs of Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, with convenient non-stop service to India from each hub. Air Canada is the only carrier offering a direct service to Delhi out of Montreal, allowing for easy connections through our extensive network. We continue to focus on the growing visiting friends and relatives market and this capacity expansion is a response to increasing demand."

As the leading carrier between the two countries, Air Canada offers daily flights from Vancouver, up to ten flights a week from Toronto and three flights a week from Montreal. The airline's service to Mumbai will resume when conditions permit.

 

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1 hour ago, dagger said:

I don't think I've ever seen International services expanded with so little pre-sale, and I have to think strong cargo rates are a factor.

 

The QR partnership was developed and DOH was launched almost spur of the moment as well, I think mostly to provide connections to airports in India not served nonstop from NA.  

I wondered if the YUL-DEL had something to do with AC trying to route pax arriving in Canada through airports other than YYZ since the GTAA isn't capable of running an efficient arrivals process now.  I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the EU routes that normally rely heavily on connections moved from YYZ to YUL unless the authorities at T1 get their act together.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Air Canada Introduces Company-Wide Plan for the Safe Return of its Employees to the Workplace Français


NEWS PROVIDED BY

Air Canada 

Oct 29, 2021, 09:30 ET


MONTREAL, Oct. 29, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada said today that it has enacted a Return to the Workplace Plan to transition employees working remotely safely back into the workplace, beginning November 15. The plan, developed in compliance with Public Health Agency of Canada guidelines, uses a hybrid approach combining on-site and remote work options to give employees flexibility and confidence as they return to their pre-pandemic work routines.

"While frontline employees at Air Canada have attended work running the operation throughout the pandemic, for which I thank and commend them, since March 2020 a significant number have worked remotely pursuant to Federal Public Health directives. Now, with caseloads falling nationally, Air Canada's mandatory workplace vaccination policy, and other company health measures, it is possible for people to begin a structured return to the office and safely resume a more normal work life. Our plan takes a balanced approach, meeting the needs of those eager to work again in-person with their colleagues and others who may prefer to continue, for personal or professional reasons, working remotely certain days of the week," said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada.

"For individuals, companies or any organization to achieve their full potential requires personal connections and interactions. This makes the return of Canadians to the workplace a necessary step in the recovery of our society and economy from the pandemic's isolating effects. As a country, we can and must begin to resume our pre-pandemic routines, especially as our high vaccination rates, effective public health policies and the sacrifices made by all of us to beat COVID-19 have created the conditions to do so safely."

Beginning November 15, those Air Canada employees who are presently working off-site will start a graduated return to the workplace, with options to continue working set days remotely. To ensure the health and safety of employees in the workplace:

  • A mandatory vaccination policy requires all active employees to be fully vaccinated;
  • All visitors and anyone entering company buildings are required to be fully vaccinated;
  • Employees will be strongly encouraged to wear a face mask whenever outside of their personal workspaces or when interacting with others;
  • Physical distancing is required where practical;
  • Home screening programs continue to be offered and their use encouraged;
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfection products will continue to be readily available.
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On 10/29/2021 at 4:49 PM, Kargokings said:

Not an internal workplace policy.  It was an official AirCanada public News Release. Look at the heading or goto 

Air Canada Introduces Company-Wide Plan for the Safe Return of its Employees to the Workplace – Canadian Aviation News (wordpress.com)

Obviously I realize it was an official public release, hence my question. Why would they press release something only pertinent to Air Canada employees, and really just a subset of people working remotely?

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43 minutes ago, spreadsheet said:

Why would they press release something only pertinent to Air Canada employees, and really just a subset of people working remotely?

Possibly preemptive? To blunt the public whining from some quarters the return to work may engender.

Or an opportunity to reinforce the 'we're an engaged, progressive employer' messaging

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also read.... All people visiting Air Canada facilities ie. Terminal buildings.  See how this may affect the public?

If you want to enter a Termial where AC flies out of then you must be fully vaccinated.

 

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6 hours ago, boestar said:

also read.... All people visiting Air Canada facilities ie. Terminal buildings.  See how this may affect the public?

If you want to enter a Termial where AC flies out of then you must be fully vaccinated.

 

True, but that requirement is already embodied in the federal vaccine mandate which covers 85 Canadian airports including virtually all of the AC domestic network save for a few northern airports.

Edited by J.O.
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On 10/30/2021 at 7:10 PM, spreadsheet said:

Obviously I realize it was an official public release, hence my question. Why would they press release something only pertinent to Air Canada employees, and really just a subset of people working remotely?

The Federal government's vaccine mandate applies to Airlines. When the Federal Transport Minister presser'd the October 30th first dose vaccine requirement, it set in motion numerous media requests, it was probably easier to release the internal document rather than answer each journo's questions. 

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So typically Canadian…

“ Have we reached such a level of insecurity in this country that the person who gets to run our biggest airline is the person who came top in French and not the guy who excelled in, say, running an airline? “
 

https://torontosun.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-youll-have-to-pardon-his-french?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR34UhhoRmE9m5uso__fUWThyAepnxauP8WYzwIIgb0sYMRzN63Yh98vs7Q#Echobox=1636322651

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Terence Corcoran: English-speaking Air Canada CEO latest victim of Quebec fragility

Terence Corcoran  14 hrs ago%7B© Provided by Financial Post Michael Rousseau, chief executive officer of Air Canada, after speaking at the Montreal Chamber of Commerce in Montreal on Nov. 10, 2021.
Almost 70 years ago, as an 11-year-old walking to St. Brendan’s Elementary School in the Rosemount district of east-end Montreal, I remember passing a group of French-language elementary school kids in their schoolyard. When they saw me walking by, a few of them began taunting me with a favourite Quebecois putdown: “ Maudit bloke! 
 

As an 11-year-old, I had grown up around Molson Park, a Rosemount neighbourhood where — despite its name — we Corcorans were the only English family on the block, which means French was almost my first language, certainly my first street language, so I had already acquired the full linguistic capacity to shout back at the taunters: “ Mange la merde .” Then I just kept walking, and nothing happened.

Unfortunately for Michael Rousseau, the CEO of Air Canada, no such options existed last Wednesday after he delivered an English-only speech to the Montreal Chamber of Commerce. Too bad, because his taunters deserved a good rebuke.

Before the speech, Air Canada had alerted all and sundry that the speech would be delivered in English. By the end of his speech — not a word of which was reported on Air Canada’s rising corporate fortunes — the school-yard media kids were ready with their taunts.

Reporters on the scene of the speech had the first crack at Rousseau who became the target of aggressive questioning and mini-harangues. They didn’t yell “maudit bloke” in his face, but the message was the same.

Asked one reporter: “How does one live in Montreal for more than 14 years speaking very approximative French?”

After an aide translated the question, Rousseau responded by praising Montreal, one of world’s great French language enclaves, for its ability to accommodate an English-speaker with limited or no capacity to speak the majority language. “I think that’s a testament to the City of Montreal.”

Rousseau’s response could be viewed as a significant compliment that would surely reflect the views of thousands of people who live in Montreal or came to the city to work, play, study, make love and have families. Student’s from Saudi Arabia at McGill University, doctors from India in hospitals, American executives filling positions in Montreal corporations, musicians working in the city’s rich cultural communities — all can make a go of it in Montreal without really knowing how to speak French.

But when Air Canada’s CEO dared to praise Montreal for what he saw as its welcoming attitude, commentators, activists and political figures mocked his words with put-downs and diatribes, a stream of animosity and meanness that rose through CBC television’s At Issue panel all the way up to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The At Issue crew laced into Rousseau personally, accusing him of cultural ignorance, of dismissing French as irrelevant and the language challenges it faced in Quebec as an issue he did not care about. Chantal Hebert said it reminded her of an era 50 years ago “when bosses spoke English and workers waited for orders.” She also said Rousseau had “kind of made the company (Air Canada) toxic.”

The catalogue of absurd charges and allegations grew by the hour. He showed “contempt” for the French language, said Quebec’s language minister. “It’s unspeakable. It shocks me,” said Premier Francois Legault. The head of the Quebec Liberal Party said Rousseau should not be CEO of Air Canada. Another Liberal said Rousseau “needs to go, one way or the other. And the board also should … ask him to go.” Prime Minister Trudeau said the executive’s comments were “unacceptable.”

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was fanning the outrage again Monday with a call for Air Canada’s board to change corporate practice to ensure future CEOs have “the ability” to communicate in French. Rousseau became CEO last year after having served as deputy CEO for a few years and more than a decade as the airline’s highly-rated chief financial officer. He was also backed for the job by former CEO Calin Rovinescu. Everybody at Air Canada, then and now, believed Rousseau was the right person for the job.

What did Rousseau do to warrant the vicious criticisms and calls for his removal as the top executive of Canada’s largest airline? Had he uttered the “n” word or condoned patting flight attendants on the behind after they served coffee on a flight to Las Vegas? Was he guilty of corporate wrongdoing?

But it was nothing like that. He had merely admitted he could not speak French, had not tried to learn the language, claiming his prime focus currently as the newly appointed Air Canada CEO was to turn the airline around in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Even though he had been at the airline for 14 years, apparently as a hard-working and effective chief financial officer, learning French was not a priority

Rousseau’s explanation, sensible and logical, was too much for the brave and vociferous defenders of Quebec as “a nation.” In modern Montreal, which has come a long way in the last half century, Rousseau’s alleged cultural crime deserved severe punishment.

It turns out that the Quebec “nation” is such a feeble and insecure place that it cannot tolerate having the CEO of a national airline whose head office is in Montreal deliver an English-only business speech to the local chamber of commerce.

In that speech, by the way, Rousseau spelled out part of Air Canada’s post-COVID recovery plan. In fact, while he was being verbally tarred and feathered by political language crusaders, investors reacted positively to signs the airline — under Rousseau’s leadership — was recovering nicely from the pandemic. On the stock market through last week’s allegedly toxic events the airline’s shares jumped 18 per cent to $26.40 in trading Monday.

Rousseau issued a statement of apology and promised to try to learn the language. For reasons that he has not explained — and which are totally irrelevant — he did not learn French as a youngster in Cornwall, Ontario, a town where English is the language of 77 per cent of the community. That Rousseau did not learn French as a youth is understandable and explainable.

So now Rousseau, at 61, has promised to try to learn French, likely an impossible task at his age. Learning a second language comes almost naturally to the very young, to two and five and 11 year old kids — a scientific discovery first propounded in 1959 by famed Montrealer Wilder Penfield of the Neurological Institute at McGill University. The language part of the brain is formed possibly between the ages of two and 13, when the ability to become fluent in a language is developed. Learning a second language as an adult becomes a challenge.

If Rousseau had learned French as a youngster, he would have developed that part of his brain where linguistic skills have been mapped out. Since it is clear he had no such exposure to French as a child or youth, Rousseau will waste valuable corporate hours struggling to learn the unlearnable.

In a year or two, assuming he survives the vicious attacks on his integrity, Rousseau might be able to stumble through some memorized/written sentences before a future meeting of the Montreal Chamber of Commerce, but whatever he achieves will likely not be sufficient accommodation for the angry watchdogs who stand, like school children at a fence, shouting insults at a corporate executive because he has not done enough to protect the fragile Quebec nation.

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Gee…if I was a decision maker of a company that was trying to decide where to locate…..would I want this type of scrutiny of the management??
 What would the critics say if Tesla or Google wanted to locate in Quebec?? Would they demand the same standard?

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On 11/10/2021 at 1:39 PM, conehead said:

Should've moved headquarters to Toronto years ago.

If only they were allowed to.

https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/a-10.1/page-1.html#h-1272

Mandatory provisions in articles of continuance

  • 6 (1) The articles of continuance of the Corporation shall contain

  • (e) provisions specifying that the head office of the Corporation is to be situated in the Montreal Urban Community.

Edited by moeman
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On 11/10/2021 at 11:32 PM, moeman said:

If only they were allowed to.

https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/a-10.1/page-1.html#h-1272

Mandatory provisions in articles of continuance

  • 6 (1) The articles of continuance of the Corporation shall contain

  • (e) provisions specifying that the head office of the Corporation is to be situated in the Montreal Urban Community.

So, that could be a post office box in Montreal.

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15 hours ago, moeman said:

Air Canada Announces Agreement by Unions and Pionairs to Repurpose the 2009 Pension Share Trust

 

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/air-canada-announces-agreement-by-unions-and-pionairs-to-repurpose-the-2009-pension-share-trust-821024151.html

I received that email. Wondering how much the cheque will be?

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