* Pension funding changes not blocked by retirees, managers
* Less than 1 pct of those affected move to block changes
* Way cleared to seek gov't approval of pension changes
TORONTO, July 19 Air Canada ACa.TO said on
Sunday a plan to limit payments toward its C$2.9 billion ($2.6
billion) pension deficit have not been opposed by retirees and
managers, clearing the way for the airline to request
Hobbled by a sharp drop in global travel and tough domestic
competition, Air Canada has said it needs a pension funding
moratorium to help avert a second bankruptcy filing in six
The pension funding changes, which have been ratified by all
five of the airline's Canadian-based unions, call for a
21-month moratorium on past service contributions and fixed
payments from 2011 to 2013.
The airline was also required to consult its retirees,
managers and administrative, technical and support employees.
The groups were given until Saturday to object to the changes,
with the understanding that as long as no more than one-third
expressed opposition to the proposal, it would be considered
Air Canada said as of the deadline, less than one per cent
of affected individuals had expressed disagreement.
In addition to the pension funding changes, the airline has
said it also need labor peace and C$600 million in financing to
meet its short-term needs. Its unions have already agreed to
21-month contracts that freeze their wages.
"The agreements remain subject to the adoption by the
Federal Government of an Order-in-Council amending Air Canada's
pension funding rules and Air Canada entering into agreements
to raise a minimum of C$600 million in new financing," the
airline said in a statement.
(Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson, with additional reporting by
Susan Taylor in Ottawa; Editing Bernard Orr)