Air Canada

AC throws lifeline to Aveos

Air Canada threw a lifeline, late Monday afternoon, to the bankrupt company that has done the majority of its heavy maintenance.

Aveos announced the day before it was ceasing operations and laying off its entire 2,600 member staff, and seeking court protection to restructure its operations.

The company blamed the closure on the sudden loss of $16 million worth of work from its principal client, Air Canada.

Workers accused the company of moving the bulk of its work from facilities in Montreal, Vancouver and Winnipeg to a plant in El Salvador.

Air Canada had publicly stated operations would continue as normal, but a lawyer argued in court that up to 3,000 passengers a day could soon be affected if work on aircraft in Aveos facilities is not completed.

By Monday evening, Air Canada was offering a $15 million loan to Aveos to allow it to reopen some operations while the company restructures.

That would conceivably allow some employees to be rehired to do engine and component repair.

Aveos was once part of Air Canada, before the company was spun off in 2004. Air Canada is still Aveos’ largest customer, although the airline is said to be searching for cheaper maintenance options.

A bankruptcy court had yet to approve the loan.