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Air Canada Receives Strike Notice from CUPE

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Air Canada has been advised by CUPE, the union representing the airline's 6,800 flight attendants, that the new tentative agreement reached by the airline and the union's negotiating committee on 20 September 2011 was not ratified by the union membership.

Subsequently, Air Canada has been given a strike notice by CUPE confirming the union's intention to begin a strike at 00:01 a.m. ET Thursday, 13 October 2011.

Air Canada has said that in the interim, its operations are not affected and the airline will continue to operate its normal schedule.

"We are perplexed and disappointed that two tentative agreements negotiated in good faith with and unanimously recommended by the democratically elected representatives of our flight attendants have failed to be ratified," said Duncan Dee, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "Air Canada remains hopeful that a disruption can be avoided."

In recognition of the uncertainty for customers this situation may cause, Air Canada has introduced a flexible rebooking policy to enable customers booked for travel over the next six days on a rolling window basis (10-15, 11-16, October etc.) to change dates free of charge until 15 December 2011, subject to seat availability.

Customers wishing to change Air Canada- and Air Canada Express-operated flights on tickets purchased directly through Air Canada are requested to use the airline's online Self Service Rebooking Tool available at aircanada.com.

Customers who booked travel through a travel agent must contact their agent directly.

Customers can also contact the Air Canada call centre, however wait times are longer than usual due to increased call volumes.

In the event of a work disruption, Air Canada will implement a partial schedule including Air Canada Express flights operated by its regional partner airlines (Jazz Air, Sky Regional Airlines, Air Georgian and EVAS Air).

Regularly scheduled Air Canada Express service between Toronto City Centre and Montreal Trudeau airport, as well as codeshare flights operated by Star Alliance partner airlines on international and U.S. transborder routes, would remain unaffected.

Travellers that may be affected by the strike should monitor the situation carefully and consult with the airline or travel agent as needed.

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