October 11, 2011 –Air Canada has been advised by CUPE, the union representing the airline’s 6,800 flight attendants, that the new tentative agreement reached by the Company and the union’s negotiating committee on September 20, 2011 was not ratified by the union membership. Subsequently, Air Canada has been given a strike notice by CUPE confirming the union’s intention to begin a strike at 00:01 a.m. ET Thursday October 13, 2011. In the interim, Air Canada’s operations are not affected and the airline will continue to operate its normal schedule.
“We are perplexed and disappointed that two tentative agreements negotiated in good faith with and unanimously recommended by the democratically elected representatives of our flight attendants have failed to be ratified,” said Duncan Dee, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Air Canada remains hopeful that a disruption can be avoided.”
In recognition of the uncertainty for customers this situation may cause, Air Canada has introduced a flexible rebooking policy to enable customers booked for travel over the next six days on a rolling window basis (October 11-16, 12-17, etc.) to change dates free of charge until December 15, 2011, subject to seat availability.
Customers wishing to change Air Canada- and Air Canada Express-operated flights on tickets purchased directly through Air Canada are requested to use the airline’s on-line Self Service Rebooking Tool. Customers who booked travel through a travel agent must contact their agent directly. Customers can also contact the Air Canada call centre, however wait times are longer than usual due to increased call volumes.
In the event of a work disruption, Air Canada will implement a partial schedule including Air Canada Express flights operated by its regional partner airlines (Jazz Air, Sky Regional Airlines, Air Georgian and EVAS Air). Further details of the partial schedule would be communicated prior to implementation. Regularly scheduled Air Canada Express service between Toronto City Centre and Montreal Trudeau airport, as well as codeshare flights operated by Star Alliance partner airlines on international and U.S. transborder routes, would remain unaffected.
Air Canada will continue to provide updates as developments warrant. Please visit http://www.aircanada.com/en/home.html