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MONTREAL: Air Canada said Wednesday it was cutting 1,900 staff because bookings plunged after the government imposed new stricter travel restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19 illnesses.

The move to sack about 1,700 employees at the nation’s flagship airline, plus another 200 at its regional carriers, and slash its planned flight capacity by 25 percent comes after Ottawa started requiring travellers to obtain a negative Covid-19 test before being allowed into the country.

The measure was introduced last week following a public outcry over Canadians — including senior government officials — ignoring public health warnings against non-essential travel in order to sunbathe in tropical destinations over the winter.

Since its implementation, “we have seen an immediate impact” on bookings, Air Canada executive vice president Lucie Guillemette said in a statement.—AFP