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Air Canada union says flight crews should be self-isolating, airline disagrees

Union says precautions such as gloves and masks aren't always available for flight crew

Mon Mar 16, 2020 - CBC News

The union that represents a large number of Air Canada's flight and cabin crew says its members should be isolating themselves any time they return to Canada for two weeks just as government authorities suggest everyone else does, but the airline says its employees are exempt from that policy.

Wesley Lesosky, president of the Air Canada component of Canadian Union of Public Employees, told CBC News that the union became aware over the weekend that the airline thinks its staff are "exempt" from the advice of numerous government agencies that anyone arriving to Canada from abroad right now self-isolate themselves in case they have contracted the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 illness.

CBC News has obtained what appears to be a memo from the airline to its staff stating that after having "discussions with government authorities, we can confirm that these conditions do not apply to you as operating, deadheading or commuting cabin crew." Deadheading refers to when Air Canada staff ride on a plane while not working it, in order to get to a new destination where they are required to work a flight.

The airline has not responded to a CBC News request about the veracity of the memo's contents. But the union says the policy is "inexplicably dangerous, short-sighted, and ignorant to the health of thousands of flight attendants who continue to work through these extremely trying times."

"You're exempted given you're well trained and prepared to protect yourselves, spend less times in the countries being visited and have access to and use protective measures on board, including hand sanitizers, masks and gloves when and as appropriate," the airline's memo to staff reads.

The union takes issue with that portion, suggesting that gloves and masks "are not always available for our Air Canada mainline or Air Canada Rouge crews when reporting for duty. This is outrageous and totally unacceptable."

"We understand the risks we undertake in continuing to do our jobs," Lesosky said, "but we are not guinea pigs. We will continue to play our pivotal role in bringing Canadians home as this pandemic escalates, but we will not accept the company or the government taking us or our safety for granted any longer."




  • Confused 1

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Crews should not be exempt. It's ridiculous to suggest they should be. 

Then again this is the same government that thinks closing its borders except to the US is good enough. 

Edited by CanadaEH

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Air Canada flight attendant tests positive for COVID-19

An Air Canada flight attendant has tested positive for the coronavirus in Hawaii, and was the first of that state’s 16 current COVID-19 patients, according to local media.

“As a general rule, for privacy reasons we cannot comment on our employees,” Air Canada’s media relations department said in an email to the Star.

But Maui Now reported the female fight attendant arrived in Maui on March 8, developed symptoms March 9 and self-isolated at the Royal Lahaina Resort until her test came back positive. She was then placed in isolation.

The paper said Air Canada had made arrangements to fly her home.

“We believe that any risk to any passengers on the previous flight is low,” said Gov. David Ige at a news conference March 15.

“We also understand that this individual was exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case in Germany on March 4,” said Maui Mayor Michael Victorino.

'While WestJet is posting public notices online regarding passengers on their planes who have subsequently tested positive for the sometimes-deadly virus, Air Canada is not'

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AC is contacting customers directly 


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Air Canada suspends all flights to and from Sydney, N.S.

News provided by CBC News – link to story and updates

Daily flights between Sydney and Halifax suspended from April 2 until at least April 30

Wendy Martin · CBC News · Posted: Apr 01, 2020

ns-hi-sydney-airport-852.jpg Air Canada is suspending its two daily flights from Sydney to Halifax, and has already suspended its daily Sydney-Toronto flight. (CBC)

Air Canada is suspending all its flights to and from Sydney, N.S., starting Thursday.

J.A. Douglas McCurdy Airport in Sydney made the announcement Wednesday morning on social media.

Air Canada has two flights a day between Sydney and Halifax. They’re suspended until the end of April, and the airline said that may be extended.

View image on Twitter Sydney Airport@flyYQY

Air Canada cancelled its daily flight from Sydney to Toronto March 23.

WestJet flies into Sydney once a day, and that flight is still available for booking on the airline’s website.

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Fly like a pro. Experience Air Canada Jetz.

From Air Canada – 23 May 2020


While our favourite sports teams are on hiatus, we’re bringing our special fleet of Air Canada Jetz Airbus A319 aircraft to you.


Beginning June 1st, we’re introducing our Air Canada Jetz aircraft on select flights between Toronto – Montreal and Toronto – Ottawa.

Flights will be departing from prime gate locations and begin boarding only 25 minutes before departure. The aircraft features only 58 seats, as compared to the 120 seats on our mainline A319s – an exclusive offering and spacious cabin configuration providing more comfort and less waiting time when boarding and deplaning.

Air Canada Jetz Express seats

Air Canada Jetz A319s feature in-seat power and on-board Wi-Fi (available for purchase)

Air Canada Jetz Express seat map

Featuring only 58 seats for quicker boarding and deplaning

Air Canada Jetz Express seats angle

Spacious recliner seats with 42-49 inch seat pitch, as compared to our mainline A319 Business Class pitch of 37 inches.

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6 hours ago, Falken said:



14 hours ago, j.k. said:


Nope, essential.  I have worked through the whole pandemic.

As a humorous poke at putting on the 'covid 19' during furlough (like the 'freshman 15?)  if you can't smile at that, I suspect that certain body parts are way too tight.

  • Haha 1

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Air Canada posts new Charlottetown flights for June and July

News from CBC News – link to story

Airport still waiting to hear from other carriers

Kevin Yarr · CBC News · May 26, 2020

airport-gets-new-walk-in-cooler-for-seaf Charlottetown Airport is currently hosting just nine flights a week. (ACOA)

Air Canada has added a daily, direct flight connecting Charlottetown to Toronto for June.

Currently service out of Charlottetown Airport has been very limited in the COVID-19 pandemic, with a daily connection from Air Canada to Montreal arriving at 11:39 p.m. and departing at 6 a.m., and twice weekly flights from WestJet to Toronto.

Air Canada has also posted a second daily flight to both Toronto and Montreal starting July 1.

The summer schedules are subject to change, said Charlottetown Airport CEO Doug Newson, but Air Canada is trying to start the recovery process.

“That will certainly be a challenge in provinces like Prince Edward Island where we still see a restriction on essential travel only and 14-day self-isolation requirement,” said Newson.

doug-newson.jpg Summer schedules are subject to change, says Charlottetown Airport CEO Doug Newson. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

“We’re aware of the travel restrictions and we’re certainly aware why they’re in place, but as long as they do remain in place it’s going to be very difficult for airlines to add flights this summer.”

Newson said he is still waiting to hear from other airlines about their summer plans, but he expects many previously announced flights will not happen this summer.

The flights currently operating out of Charlottetown Airport are not busy, said Newson, and he does not expect the lifting of restrictions to allow seasonal residents to come to the Island in June will make much of a change in operations at the airport.

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