"Today we took the very painful decision to reduce our operations according to plan, which unfortunately means a reduction in our workforce by 50 to 60 percent", Air Canada said in an email, cited by AFP.
The current workforce allows the airline to operate about 1,500 flights a day, using 258 aircraft, according to reports.
"In the current economic climate, an operation on this scale is not viable for the future", the airline said. "We are doing this to preserve our cash flow, to bring the size of the company in line with expected traffic levels over the medium and long term, and to position ourselves for renewed growth when business resumes".
The company laid off 16,500 in March, but later announced it would rehire many of them after Justin Trudeau introduced an Emergency Wage Subsidy programme to support businesses amid the pandemic. Moreover, on Friday, the cabinet extended the programme until the end of August.