May 28, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Collective action of former Avios employees | Rovines was told that Air Canada had not purchased the C Series to make the Avios forget

Collective action of former Avios employees |  Rovines was told that Air Canada had not purchased the C Series to make the Avios forget

Did Air Canada use the C Series in 2016 to turn the page on the Avios defeat? No, according to Colin Rovins, the air carrier’s big boss at the time. However, the company made it clear to the Quebec government that it was interested in aircraft designed by Bombardier.

Julian Arsenalt

Julian Arsenalt

The question arose Friday as part of a mass action inquiry into at least 150 million brought in by former management management employees who disappeared in 2012 in the second week against the company.

“I can tell you that we have made it clear to everyone that we love aircraft, but we will move forward with the purchase of something more predictable [certaines] Questions, ”the prosecution explained to Mr Rovines during the cross-examination of Judge Mary-Christine Juan.

As the man bowing to the head of Air Canada last February was in Toronto, he was heard via video conference. His testimony was in English.

According to Mr Rovins, the C Series, now controlled by Airbus and renamed the A220, did not serve as a bargaining chip to persuade the Quebec government to withdraw legal action against the country’s most important air carrier.

Photo by Bernard Bralt, Press Archives

Colin Rovines, former CEO of Air Canada

We are not buying the plane because we are resolving the dispute. This is one of the things that needs to be emphasized here.

To Colin Rovins, former CEO of Air Canada

However, knowing that Quebec would turn the page in the dispute made it easier to carry out heavy maintenance of the equipment, the witness explained. When the order was announced, Air Canada argued that this would lead to the establishment of a “Center of Excellence”.

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In 2015, the Quebec Court of Appeal affirmed that Air Canada was required to maintain its operating centers in three cities, including Montreal, Canada. The airline then approached the Supreme Court. However, the Quebec government ended its aid.

Long Saga

Struggling with financial difficulties and a reduction in the volume of work from Air Canada – its main customer, which represents 90% of its revenue – Aveos abruptly closed its operating centers in March 2012 in Montreal, Winnipeg and Mississauga. Suddenly, nearly 2,600 jobs were lost, including 1,800 in Quebec.

The incident prompted a series of actions against the air carrier, alleging that it did not respect federal law.

Quebec and Ottawa agreed to turn the page in 2016 when airlines ordered 45C series aircraft. Quebec withdrew its remedies, and Ottawa undertook to amend the law that led to the privatization of Air Canada to ease the conditions for the operation of its aircraft.

The Center of Excellence still does not exist, but the order of 45 aircraft has been amended to 33 aircraft.

The collective action relates to the year 2012 to 2016, when federal law was amended. The plaintiffs also want to prove that Air Canada deliberately caused the management company to close down through its actions.

During cross-examination, the prosecution asked Mr. Rovinescu whether the commitment to purchase the C-Series and carry out heavy maintenance on the aircraft was a “counterpart” of the agreement with the Quebec government, which had agreed to suspend legal proceedings.

Air Canada’s lawyers have noted that a third party has violated the state of Quebec’s rights in this matter. After much discussion, Justice Hivan decided that it was not so.

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When asked to answer questions from Air Canada lawyers, Mr Rovins said the air carrier had deliberately rejected the thesis that it had planned the defeat of Avios, which had become independent and that the air carrier had a 17.5% stake.

There has never been such a plan. This is a slightly absurd reference, I would say. We wanted the Aveos to survive. Air Canada supported the restructuring in 2010 [d’Aveos] To give time to become more competitive, reduce costs and improve performance.

Colin Rovines, former CEO of Air Canada

Michael Russo, the current president and CEO of Air Canada, who held the position of CFO in 2012, on Thursday presented a management expert to Mr. Rovines as a company facing significant financial challenges and productivity issues.

Processes will continue until the end of the month.