Air Canada has posted better Q1 results than analysts had expected. Their $85 million loss compares favourably to the carrier’s massive Q1 2009 loss of $400 million.
The airline says first quarter results were boosted by growth in traffic and cost cuts, and said it expects full-year cost per available seat mile (CASM), excluding fuel expense, to fall 2 to 4% from last year’s levels.
Revenue for the quarter jumped 5% to $2.52 billion resulting in a loss of 62 cents a share. Both those numbers beat expectations: analysts had expected the airline to report a loss of 94 cents a share on revenue of $2.48 billion.
Unit cost, as measured by operating expense per available seat mile, fell almost 4% compared with the year-ago quarter.
Cost-cutting is a major priority for Air Canada. The airline has pledged to cut $270 million from its costs this year and $500 million by the end of 2011.
Ten months ago Air Canada was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy protection, sideswiped by the recession and a heavy debtload, before it was saved by a last-minute financing and deals with its labor unions.