Tampa, FL, USA, May 27, 2020 -- As the travel industry undergoes turmoil due to the coronavirus pandemic, Canadian air service for Tampa remains on hold.
That cease in operations has caused Air Canada to notify the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity that it is furloughing 70 workers at its Tampa call center. Some employees are represented by a union and will have an off-duty status without pay.
The center, at 1410 N. Westshore Blvd. Suite 700, will start the temporary furlough process in July 1 through Sept. 1.
"It should be noted that these actions will continue indefinitely but are intended to be temporary and not less than six months," Yasmine Francois, manager of employee services in the U.S., wrote in the May 15 letter.
Francois was not immediately available for comment.
The letter was sent to the DEO, CareerSource Tampa Bay, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and Hillsborough County Commissioner Chairman Les Miller.
The action is directly related to orders put in place to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
Canada is the area's largest market for international passengers. It's not just driven by leisure travelers as many Canadians own property here, Tampa International Airport executives have previously said.
Canadian service airline such as Sunwing Airlines and Swoop, a subsidiary of WestJet, have ceased operations in the Tampa Bay area due to the pandemic.
Last year, Air Canada earned $1.4 billion in profits on $19.1 billion in revenues. Covid-19 cost the airline to lose $1.05 billion in the first quarter ended March 31. Forecasts show that it would take more than three years for the company to recover from the current crisis, The Globe and Mail reported.
A spokeswoman for the Tampa airport said it doesn't appear international service will be returning anytime soon.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
About Air Canada:
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international full-service airline providing scheduled and charter air transportation for passengers and cargo to more than 175 destinations on five continents. Canada's flag carrier is the 15th largest commercial airline in the world and serves 33 million customers annually. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance.
Published: Thursday, May 28, 2020
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