MRO Closure Strands Airliners
Aveos Fleet Performance, Canada's largest maintenance, repair and overhaul company, is closing permanently, it says, because its largest customer (and former owner) Air Canada cut back on the amount of work it was having done there. Aveos was the former maintenance department of the airline but it was hived off in 2004. Air Canada remained a significant shareholder. However, Aveos claims Air Canada cancelled or deferred $16 million worth of work in the last two months, delivering "a devastating blow" that it could not recover from. Air Canada says Aveos has done more than 90 percent of its maintenance in the past year and the airline has also propped it up financially. Aveos abruptly laid off all 2,700 employees at facilities in Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver on Sunday and while it initially applied for protection from creditors to attempt restructuring, it abandoned that plan and put everything on the block on Tuesday. The action has stranded about a half dozen Air Canada aircraft and that means thousands of passengers could also be affected.
When Aveos bolted the doors, three wide-body and "several" smaller aircraft were undergoing work and they're still there. Some don't have landing gear. It's not clear how the airline will go about retrieving the planes. Meanwhile, the union representing most of the workers has asked the Canadian government to intervene. "The employees are as angry as ever, they feel abused and they don't have answers to their questions," Marcel St-Jean, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said in an interview with CBC News.