MONTREAL – Air Canada says it will hire about 1,100 employees across a number of fields, including 200 at its new low-cost carrier.
The airline said Thursday the jobs are part of its strategy to “seize new commercial opportunities, enhance customer service and renew our workforce.”
Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) says it will hire approximately 400 flight attendants and some 500 airport customer service agents and baggage handlers.
Sixty customer service agents will be hired for call centres in Montreal and Toronto.
“This recruitment program is consistent with our focus on controlling costs to become more competitive in our various markets,” said president and CEO Calin Rovinescu.
“At a time when youth unemployment is nearly 15 per cent in Canada, we are pleased to offer exciting career opportunities that will especially appeal to young people.”
The company cited attrition as one of the main drivers behind the hiring of customer service agents and flight attendants.
In addition to the hires at the main airline, the company says it will hire approximately 150 flight attendants and 50 pilots for its low-cost airline — which is slated to launch in 2013.
Air Canada says information on the job postings can be found at aircanada.com/careers, adding applications can be filled out online.
The airline currently employs some 27,000 people across Canada and the world.
On Wednesday, Air Canada said it’s just a couple of weeks away from announcing details of the new discount carrier that will serve transatlantic and leisure routes in the Caribbean and the United States.
It will be wholly owned by Air Canada, but carry a different name.
Air Canada had been beset by labour problems for most of the last year with all of its major unions, which has hurt both its reputation and its share price.
The pilots are one of two major labour groups at Air Canada that were forced to accept the airline’s final offer in labour negotiations earlier this year. The other union is the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents repair and ramp crews.
Both disputes were sent to binding arbitration ordered by the federal government, which brought in back-to-work legislation after Air Canada locked out the pilots and the Machinists announced they would go on strike earlier this year.
In August, the airline reported it lost $96 million in the second quarter, more than double the $46 million it lost in the same period a year earlier and more than analysts had expected.
The loss was equal to 35 cents per share, up from 17 cents per share in the comparable year-earlier period.
On an adjusted basis, the Montreal-based airline had a loss of five cents per share, up from a loss of one cent per share a year ago.
Air Canada is the country’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.
It is the world’s 15th largest commercial airline, providing service to more than 32 million passengers a year.