Canada PM disappointed by Air Canada move to suspend domestic flights

FILE PHOTO: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the media as he visits the Big Rig Brewery, which utilizes the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy given to businesses affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Kanata, Ontario, Canada June 26, 2020. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday expressed disappointment at Air Canada's AC.TO decision to suspend some flights and said he hoped the carrier would restore services as the economy recovered.

The airline, Canada’s largest, said on Tuesday it would halt flights on 30 domestic routes hit by persistent weak travel demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also closing eight stations at regional airports.

“We are obviously disappointed by the decision by Air Canada to cut services to some regions. We know Air Canada profits from the most profitable routes in the country but we expect them to serve ... people who live in more distant regions,” Trudeau told a news conference.

“We hope they can gradually resume these services ... as the economy starts to recover,” he said. Air Canada said on May 15 it would cut its workforce by up to 60%.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Daniel Wallis