The colossal losses suffered in 2020 by Air Canada and the massive layoffs did not prevent the Montreal airline from paying $ 20 million in “incentive bonuses” to its executives.
The implementation of these special bonuses allowed executives to obtain bonuses even if Air Canada did not reach its financial objectives last year. Under the standard performance bonus program, they could have earned up to $ 45 million in bonuses, but the company’s net loss of $ 4.7 billion in 2020 made such payouts impossible.
In addition, Air Canada has decided to grant former CEO Calin Rovinescu and four other of its top bosses “share appreciation rights”, the avowed purpose of which is to allow them to ” recover ”the portion of the salary they gave up last year due to the pandemic.
Finally, the carrier’s board of directors used “its discretion” to remove the year 2020 from the calculation of long-term incentive bonuses intended for its managers for the period from 2017 to 2020. Include the year. 2020 in the calculation would have wiped out the value of those bonuses.
In the end, Mr. Rovinescu received nearly $ 9.3 million in 2020 while he had received $ 12.9 million in 2019.
For his part, the former chief financial officer, Michael Rousseau, was entitled to $ 2.9 million, against $ 4.4 million in 2019. Mr. Rousseau became CEO in February.
Remember that since the start of the pandemic, Air Canada has laid off more than half of its workforce, or 21,700 workers, and received more than $ 650 million in wage subsidies.
In April, the Trudeau government granted $ 5.9 billion in aid to Air Canada. The agreement reached with Ottawa provides that the executives of the company will not be able to benefit from annual compensation exceeding $ 1 million (excluding payments to the pension plan and severance pay).