Summit Air announced today that 45 employees will be “temporarily leaving” the airline due to COVID-19 and the subsequent economic slowdown.

The company, which until Friday had 170 employees based in Yellowknife, Edmonton and Calgary, made the announcement in a news release on Friday afternoon.

“Today, approximately 45 employees will be leaving us on temporary involuntary leaves,” stated Lane Zirnhelt, chief operating officer with the Summit Aviation Group.

“This decision was very tough for our company as was delivering the news to our people, their families, and our community. Today’s announcement relates to circumstances beyond our control and does not reflect the hard work and dedication the Summit Air team has consistently demonstrated, especially in recent weeks.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the temporary closure or reduced operation of many of our customers businesses and operations, resulting in significant reductions in Summit Air’s revenue and flying hours. To preserve our business for the future we made the difficult decision to cut operating costs in the short term.”

This story will be updated.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

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