Air Canada announced last week that it was resuming flights between Toronto and Delhi from August 15. The carrier had suspended the route due to the coronavirus pandemic, but as Canada is added to the list of countries that have formed “air bubbles” with India, the airline is now taking bookings for flights to the Indian city.
Air Canada opens Delhi route
According to a report by Outlook India today, Air Canada has reopened its Toronto to Delhi route and will operate three flights per week between the cities. The flights will operate on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays from August 15 until the end of the month. Subject to government approval, the airline will increase the frequency to four flights per week from September.
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Air Canada announced the resumption of flights in a Twitter post on August 10.
As of August 15, we are resuming service between Canada and India with three flights per week until the end of the month. For more information on our destinations, visit: https://t.co/lZacxxzFM6: pic.twitter.com/pYXFeDNETm
— Air Canada (@AirCanada) August 10, 2020
The move comes as Canada becomes the latest country to form a so-called ‘bubble’ with India, alongside France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. India has also agreed to bilateral travel arrangements with seven other countries, including the United Arab Emirates and the Maldives. The Outlook India report says,
“According to the Director-General of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), any Indian holding any kind of valid visa can now travel to Canada.”
Stranded citizens can get home
Air Canada’s Delhi service will enable Indian and Canadian citizens who have been stranded by the travel restrictions to get home. Travelers will be subject to compulsory COVID-19 testing as well as following quarantine protocols in India and Canada.
The Canadian flag carrier is focused on ensuring the safety of its passengers with industry-leading health measures, including the implementation of new biosecurity standards and enhanced in-flight preventative procedures.
The airline issues passengers with care kits with a face mask, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and drinking water.
Air Canada looks to the future
On August 17, Air Canada released its sustainability report entitled “Citizens of the World,” outlining its overall progress as well as moving forward with post-pandemic operations. In the report, Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer at Air Canada said,
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our employees, customers, communities and other stakeholders. But we must not lose sight of all the great achievements of the last decade. I truly believe that our resilience, strong culture and engagement during these unprecedented times will serve us well for years to come. We will overcome these challenges so that we continue to serve local communities and contribute to the social and economic health of our country.”
Air Canada announced its financial results at the start of the month, revealing that it had lost C$1.555bn (US$1.16bn) during the second quarter of 2020. At the same time, the carrier’s president and CEO said that orders for new aircraft, particularly the 737 MAX, could be canceled. He blamed travel restrictions and a lack of government support for possible cost-cutting measures.
However, as it begins to emerge from the crisis, Air Canada is actively promoting flights to the United States.
Will you be taking advantage of Air Canada’s flights to India? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Le Chateau files for CCAA protection, plans to close its doors – BayToday.ca
MONTREAL — After 60 years in operation, Le Chateau Inc. is seeking court protection from creditors to allow it to liquidate its assets and close its stores.
The Montreal-based company said Friday that it has spent much of the COVID-19 pandemic trying to refinance or sell the business to a third party that would keep it in operation, but was unsuccessful.
There is presently a Le Chateau store in North Bay at Northgate Shopping Centre.
“Its already evident impact on consumer demand for Le Chateau’s holiday party and occasion wear, which represents the core of our offering, has diminished Le Chateau’s ability to pursue its activities,” the company said.
“Regrettably, these circumstances leave the company with no option other than to commence the liquidation process.”
The company’s application for protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) will be heard by a Quebec court on Friday.
Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores, but the eventual closures will mean the end of about 1,400 jobs — 500 at its head office and 900 at stores.
“We regret the impact this will have on our people and can assure you that we explored all options available to us prior to taking this difficult decision,” the company said.
Le Chateau expects Gordon Brothers Canada ULC and Merchant Retail Solutions ULC to be appointed as consultants to implement the liquidation and PricewaterhouseCooper Inc. to become its monitor in CCAA proceedings.
If Le Chateau’s CCAA application is granted, the company will obtain interim financing from Wells Fargo Capital Finance Corp. Canada to help it fund post-filing working capital requirements.
The company’s application comes after several other Canadian retailers have shuttered or downsized operations in the wake of the pandemic.
Reitmans Canada Ltd., Aldo Group Inc., DavidsTea Inc., Mountain Equipment Co-operative, Moores the Suit People Corp., and Laura’s Shoppe Inc. are among the dozens of retailers that have all filed for CCAA.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020.
Companies in this story: (TSXV:CTU)
The Canadian Press
Hospitality workers urge Ottawa to put employees first in any COVID-19 related bailout – CBC.ca
Canada’s hard-hit hospitality industry is asking for more help from government to survive the economic impact of COVID-19. But even as hotel owners are seeking more aid from Ottawa, some workers say they’re not making good use of relief programs already out there.
Hotel workers staged demonstrations in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver this week, to draw attention to the plight of an industry that has been hard-hit by the ongoing pandemic.
Hotel bookings are down by 90 per cent in some cases, which has created a drastic drop in demand for workers.
The industry was effectively shut down just as many others were in the early days of the pandemic. The Hotel Association of Canada says most hotels did their best to maintain staffing levels, hoping for a return of paying customers.
Some took advantage of an emergency government program known as the Canada emergency wage susidy, or CEWS, which paid up to 75 per cent of an employee’s salary, as long as they remained on the payroll.
Room attendant Leonora Mulholland lost her job at a downtown Toronto hotel in March when the pandemic struck, but she says her employer eventually brought her back on once CEWS began.
But it didn’t last long. She was laid off again in August.
After 21 years working for the same hotel, she questions why her loyalty wasn’t reciprocated by her employer.
WATCH | Hotel worker Leonora Mulholland explains what workers want:
Mulholland was one of about two dozen hospitality workers at a physically distanced demonstration in Toronto this week asking the government to step in and force hotels to use the wage subsidy to hire back like her back.
“I feel insecure,” she said. “Who knows what’s going to happen? How long this pandemic is going to be? We don’t know.”
Susie Grynol, president and CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada, says the industry is sympathetic to the plight of workers, but the industry shut itself down in the interest of public health, which is why the sector needs the government to step up with more support so that hotels can survive long enough to keep employing their workers long term.
“It’s put our industry on life support,” she said in an interview. “We missed the summer season. We’re heading into the off season and we’re not projected to recover until next summer, which means we’re not even halfway through this.”
Many hotels took advantage of CEWS, but recent changes mean the government now pays only about two thirds of the payroll costs, leaving hotels with next to no revenue on the hook for paying one third of the salaries for workers they don’t need.
“The changes to the wage subsidy program has meant that we can’t keep on every employee that we had previously,” Grynol said. “That means that some of our inactive workers are now going to be laid off permanently.”
In the recent throne speech, the government gave a vague promise of more help coming for the industry, but was short on details.
Grynol says the industry is asking Ottawa to roll back CEWS to its original terms and help the industry secure access to credit because loans from banks are drying up. And, if possible, they would love some help on fixed cost items such as property taxes.
“We’re hoping that we are going to see some support from government so that we can stabilize and ultimately bring back all of our employees,” she said.
The organizers of this week’s demonstrations say they agree that the industry needs more targeted help, but they’re wary of that help coming as a bailout for hotel operators that may do little to help the rank and file.
“Our concern is that any sector relief that’s provided to the industry would go straight to the pockets of the multimillion dollar corporations or the owners of the hotels,” said Shelli Sareen, secretary treasurer of Unite Here, a labour union representing 300,000 workers across the U.S. and Canada.
A blank cheque without accountability, “won’t benefit our members or the hospitality workers [and] frontline workers that have been most heavily impacted by the pandemic,” Sareen said.
Mulholland knows that the hotels themselves must be feeling the pain as well. But whatever the plan to help the industry is, she hopes the workers on the bottom like her get remembered along with the owners at the top.
“When they apply, the employers should put the workers first,” she said. “Not just apply, get the money, and keep it to themselves.”
Questions remain regarding Alberta's new COVID-19 testing pilot: expert – CBC News
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