CanJet Airlines has suspended all flights after failing to find opportunities that would maintain a profitable business.
In a memo to employees Tuesday, company president Stephen Rowe said the Halifax-based discount carrier will continue to lease and supervise the maintenance of its fleet and review “flight opportunities as they arise.”
Rowe told CBC News it was a “sad day” for the struggling airline, but said he hopes CanJet can be back in the air in the future.
Rowe said there are no scheduled flights, so the suspension will not have an impact on travelers. He added that the decision was made after a determination that it was not profitable to fly just one passenger jet.
The company’s remaining Boeing 737 aircraft based at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and under contract to tour operator Air Transat will return to Air Transat’s fleet on Thursday, Rowe said.
The announcement means there are no more active employees or flights, according to a source who asked not to be named. Lesley Swann, a representative of the Canadian Union of Public Employees local that represents CanJet flight attendants said “members are in shock.”
She said the union local’s executive received news of the suspension through a conference call with Rowe Tuesday. Thirty-five flight attendants have been laid off due to the closure.
“CUPE has asked CanJet for information about severance pay for our members,” Swann said. “At this point, we are examining any legal avenues that we may have.”
CanJet, a subsidiary of privately held, Halifax-based IMP Group offered charter flights on behalf of Transat Tours from Toronto and other Canadian cities to vacation destinations, but the long-term contract was not renewed in April 2014.
In May, the airline laid off 67 pilots and 68 permanent and seasonal flight attendants and eliminated its planned European operations.
The carrier had continued to operate one aircraft for Air Transat year round, employing 13 cockpit crew and the 35 attendants based in Toronto, a source told the Star.
An online post criticized the company for re-establishing its vacation charter business last winter exclusively from Toronto-Pearson, “the most competitive and expensive airport in the country.
“There are many markets that would have welcomed and absorbed the added competition/capacity.”
At its peak CanJet had more than 500 employees and 10 planes in a fleet servicing 15 cities in Canada and the U.S. The CanJet brand was relaunched in 2002 after a merger with Canada 3000 the year earlier.
Source: The Star