Air Canada to favor maintenance firms in Canada

Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:01pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Air Canada said on Thursday that its search to replace maintenance provider Aveos Fleet Performance Inc will favor companies with operations in Canada.

Canada's biggest airline was left in the lurch on Monday when privately held Aveos, once part of Air Canada's in-house maintenance division, obtained bankruptcy protection. Aveos ceased Canadian operations on Tuesday. Over those two days it laid off all its 2,600 Canadian employees.

Air Canada said it would find transitional providers through request for proposal processes. But over the long term, it said it would prefer companies with some operations in one or more of Montreal, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Toronto.

It said maintenance companies from around the world should consider which of Aveos's businesses in Canada might be viable under new ownership.

"There exists a pool of well-trained, qualified and talented people available in these cities," the airline said in a release.

The law that has governed Air Canada's operations since its 1988 privatization requires it to maintain maintenance and overhaul centers in Montreal, Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Mississauga, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto.

On Wednesday, the airline argued that it fulfills that requirement on the basis of its in-house maintenance staff alone.

(Reporting By Allison Martell; Editing by Peter Galloway)

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner aircraft is seen during a media preview at an Air Canada hangar at Pearson Toronto International Airport in Toronto, March 2, 2012. Air Canada has purchased 37 of the Boeing 787 and are to be delivered in 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch