Air Canada extends COVID-19 refund period, recalls 2,600 employees

Air Canada said it will recall more than 2,600 employees to prepare for the increase in demand for flights, and will also extend the deadline for COVID-19 refunds.

The airline stated that the recalled employees will include various roles, including flight attendants, and will be recalled in stages in June and July.

Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick (Peter Fitzpatrick) said that the airline took action to recall employees because of the increase in the number of vaccinations, the reduction in COVID-19 cases and the government’s relaxation of restrictions.

He said the recall is part of his efforts to rebuild the airline network and meet anticipated travel demand.

As the pandemic swept the country, Air Canada laid off tens of thousands of workers, including 16,500 when the crisis began in March last year.

In April, the airline reached an agreement with Ottawa to provide a $5.9 billion assistance program.

Watch | Some of the executive bonuses returned by Air Canada:

Air Canada stated that its president and chief executive officer and executive vice president have voluntarily refunded the 2020 bonus in response to “public disappointment.” 2:09

Extension of refund period

The country’s largest airline also stated that it has extended the deadline for submitting a flight or vacation package refund request by 30 days until July 12.

Since the refund policy went into effect on April 13, about 40% of eligible customers have requested refunds, and 92% of the requests have been processed.

Chief Commercial Officer Lucie Guillemette (Lucie Guillemette) said: “The number of customers requesting refunds is lower than expected, and most people retain travel points.” She added that this is a vote of confidence in the airline.

Customers can choose a transferable travel voucher with no expiry date, or convert the value of the ticket to Aeroplan points and receive a 65% reward. Customers who receive these refunds can also exchange the original payment method for a refund.

Air Canada stated that if the airline cancels or reschedules the flight for more than three hours, its new refund policy for all purchased tickets will be to choose coupons or award Aeroplan points.

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