There is some good news for Canada’s airline industry as Flair Air announced its plans to expand its fleet and recall pilots from furlough. The pilots will also receive extensive training for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
“This good news comes in spite of, not thanks to, the federal government,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “While Flair Air should be commended for bucking the industry-wide trend, the fact remains that most of the industry is in serious trouble thanks to government inaction.”
The announcement that the discount carrier will lease 13 new planes and recall pilots represented by Unifor Local 2002 is welcome news for an industry that has seen no COVID-related aid from the federal government.
“Flair Air pilots take pride in getting Canadians to where they need to go,” said Don Ross, Interim President of Unifor Local 2002. “Flair Air is an important piece in a complex Canadian aviation industry. The federal government needs to act now to help all our carriers succeed with a national aviation strategy.”
Approximately 45% of Unifor’s members in the airline sector are either laid-off, furloughed or have had their jobs eliminated. Workers have also lost their health insurance, and more are given notice each day. Others are being forced to take pay cuts to avoid layoffs.
Airlines have drastically cut back on flight frequency and even cancelled routes, leaving entire communities with no flights at all.
Unifor represents more than 16,000 members working in the air transportation sector, including pilots, customer service representatives, aircraft groomers, catering staff and air traffic controllers, to name a few. The union continues to push the federal government to act and create a plan to prevent the current crisis from collapsing the industry entirely.