Air Canada to favor maintenance firms in Canada

Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:25am 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)

An employee of Aveos Fleet Performance Inc. demonstrates at the National Assembly in Quebec City, March 21, 2012. The sign reads: "10 years of concession is too much". REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger