(Air Canada)

Air Canada has announced it will temporarily lay off an additional 16,500 employees, effective this Friday, April 3rd.

This is in addition to the 5,100 cabin crew laid off earlier this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These newly announced layoffs mean that half of the company’s workforce will be temporarily out of work.

Along with the workforce reductions, other measures implemented by Air Canada will include the company’s CEO Calin Rovinescu and CFO Michael Rousseau foregoing 100% of their salaries for the second quarter.

Senior Executives will also forgo between 25% – 50% of their salary while members of Air Canada’s Board of Directors have agreed to a 25% reduction. All other Air Canada managers will have their salaries reduced 10% for the entire Second Quarter.

“The unpredictable extent and duration of the Covid-19 pandemic requires a significant overall response,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive in a statement.

“To furlough such a large proportion of our employees is an extremely painful decision but one we are required to take given our dramatically smaller operations for the next while.”

The most recent layoffs consist of 15,200 unionized workers and 1,300 managers, and are expected to last until at least May.

Last week, WestJet similarity announced it had laid off 6,900 employees – some in the form of early retirements and resignations.