Canada's WestJet to cut 3,300 jobs as pandemic hurts demand for air travel

FILE PHOTO: A WestJet plane on the tarmac at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada January 24, 2020. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier

(Reuters) - Canadian carrier WestJet said on Wednesday it would layoff about 3,300 employees, as it looks to save costs amid the economic turmoil stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely hurt air travel.

WestJet, owned by private equity firm Onex Corp, said it will consolidate all call centre activity to Alberta and outsource operations in all domestic airports except Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto, as part of the restructuring.

“Today’s announcement regarding these strategic but unavoidable changes will allow us to provide security to our remaining 10,000 WestJetters,” Chief Executive Officer Ed Sims said in a statement.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli