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Transat AT lays off 3,600 staff, about 70% of its workforce

Transat AT lays off 3,600 staff, about 70% of its workforce

Kyle Mack | posted Monday, Mar 23rd, 2020

Transat AT Inc. says it has temporarily laid off about 70 per cent of its workforce in Canada, about 3,600 people.

The decision comes as non-essential travel around the world comes to a standstill as governments close borders in an effort to slow the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transat says some of these layoffs are effective immediately, while others will take effect following advance notice of up to one month.

The layoffs include all flight crew personnel.

The company says the final Air Transat flight prior to the full suspension of its operations is scheduled for April 1.

Transat says operations are being stopped gradually in order to enable it to repatriate as many of its customers as possible to their home countries.

Canada refuses to go to Tokyo Olympics unless Games postponed 1 year

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Mar 23rd, 2020

Canada won’t be at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics unless the Games are postponed by a year.

The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee issued joint statements on Sunday saying that they refuse to send their teams to Tokyo unless their respective Games are pushed back a year.

The Tokyo Olympics are currently scheduled to start July 24 and the Paralympics are slated to follow on Aug. 25.

“While we recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community,” reads the COC’s statement.

“This is not solely about athlete health – it is about public health. With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games.”

The COC and CPC’s statements come amid a chorus of criticism aimed at the International Olympic Committee’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

IOC president Thomas Bach said earlier Sunday that they’d set a deadline of four weeks to determine the fate of the Games, and that the global organization is considering options including postponement.

Cancelling the Games entirely, Bach said, is not being considered. It was the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began that the IOC had admitted that it would consider other options.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says a postponement of the Tokyo Olympics would be unavoidable if the games cannot be held in a complete way because of the coronavirus impact.

He was commenting on the International Olympic Committee plan to examine the situation over the next few weeks and make a decision, which could include a postponement.

Abe, speaking at a parliamentary session, ruled out the possibility of a cancellation.

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