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Summit Air To Enroll In Canada Employee Wage Subsidy, Brings Back Recently Laid Off Full-Time Employees

Yellowknife, NWT (April 14, 2020) – Summit Air announced today that it will adopt the Government of Canada’s Employee Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program.  The program will allow Summit Air to bring back full- time employees previously laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and will help to maintain employment levels over the next 3 months.

“Our focus right now is on taking care of our people, business continuity and on positioning Summit Air to emerge from this crisis stronger, for the long-term benefit of us all”, said Lane Zirnhelt, Chief Operating Officer, Summit Aviation Group. “Much of our work has stopped as a result of the pandemic; our flying hours are down significantly compared to pre-COVID 19 levels, and this is expected to continue for the next 12 weeks.”

“The economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic requires an extraordinary response. Fortunately, the Government of Canada introduced the Canada Employee Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, which will help to maintain employment levels over the next three months. CEWS will also allow Summit Air to bring back full-time employees that were temporarily laid off as a result of COVID-19.”

Zirnhelt continued, “No one knows how long the effects of this pandemic will last.  Without the CEWS solution, we would have to consider further layoffs. This approach allows us to take care of our people and be prepared for an eventual recovery. We appreciate the flexibility demonstrated by our employee team.” 

Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, Summit Air implemented immediate cost-cutting measures such as delaying capital projects, moving contractor or contracted work in-house and has been working diligently with customers to find alternative solutions that work for them while also ensuring crews are able to operate in a safe environment.

Zirnhelt added, “We’ve been working hard to find new work and provide solutions to our clients, so they are able to continue operations and transport their passengers safely. With all our employees available, we can be more responsive to our clients’ needs, which we hope will lead to more opportunities.”

“In recent weeks, we’ve added new scheduled charter flights to help our northern customers adapt to the new COVID-19 transportation realities and reduced frequencies on scheduled routes provided by national carriers,” said Myles Cane, Vice President of Operations, Summit Air.  “With a highly skilled workforce that knows the North and a fleet that is designed for remote services, we are able to accommodate most medium-range air transport needs in the region.  We also have freighter aircraft available to accommodate most cargo needs.”

Media Contact:
Myles Cane
Senior Vice President, Operations