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With expected worker departures, Air Canada plans hiring spree

Air Canada seeking to hire 1,100


Air Canada is on a hiring push over the coming year, largely due to workers leaving the company and to scheduling requirements.

The airline anticipates more than 900 job openings within the next 12 months, it says, although most will not be new jobs, nor is this an overall enlargement of the airline. Instead, most of the vacancies are due to attrition.

Hundreds of job vacancies are expected to open as workers retire or leave the airline. However, Air Canada will be hiring roughly 200 new on-board crew members and pilots for its planned low-cost carrier to be launched next year.

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In a news statement, Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada's president and chief executive officer, described the jobs as "a selective hiring process over the next 12 months," in part to "renew our work force."

Roughly 400 of the jobs will be opening mainly because of flight attendants leaving Air Canada and scheduling adjustments, the airline announced.

Around 500 part-time and full-time airport service and baggage-handling jobs are also expected to come open, again primarily due to attrition at major airports across Canada as the airline heads into the winter. Jobs in the oil patch and other sectors continue to lure away workers.

The airline's recent labour agreements also make it a good time for Air Canada to hire new employees who won't be as high on the wage scale.

As Mr. Rovinescu noted, "this recruitment program is consistent with our focus on controlling costs to become more competitive in our various markets."

New jobs will be mainly at the as-yet-unveiled low-cost carrier, which will be hiring 150 flight attendants and 50 pilots.

The discount carrier is expected to be officially announced within the coming weeks, before taking to the skies next year. The discount carrier will cater to leisure vacation destinations and transatlantic flights, some of which will be switched over from existing Air Canada routes.

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Sixty new jobs will also be added to Air Canada's call centres in Toronto and Montreal in the coming months, the airline announced. This comes after 160 new customer service agents were hired so far this year.

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Guy Dixon is a feature writer for The Globe and Mail. More


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