LOOKING UP

Air Canada Reports First Positive Operating Revenue Since the Pandemic

Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada
Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada

Despite operational challenges, the summer was good to Air Canada. Operating revenues doubled, capacity increased by 130 per cent, and it was the first quarter since the pandemic where the airline reported positive operating income.

Air Canada’s third quarter (JUL, AUG, SEP) results for 2022 seem to indicate the company has turned a corner and is finally recovering from pandemic shutdowns.

"Air Canada's solid third quarter results stem from the ongoing restoration of our extensive network, an improved operational performance, our modern and efficient fleet, as well as leading products and services, and an incredible team of employees," said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada.

"Thanks to the hard work and commitment of our employees, after a difficult June and July, we saw significant operational improvement throughout August and September, with the operation today now on par with pre pandemic levels.

“Still, we know many customers experienced disruptions travelling this summer, and we sincerely regret any inconveniences that have occurred. We would like to thank our customers for their understanding and loyalty and assure them that the lessons of this operationally challenging period are now being applied to build greater resiliency going forward, and to elevate the customer experience overall.

"Despite the global disruption of air travel, through teamwork and focused efforts, we safely transported nearly 11.5 million customers to their destinations this quarter. We are further encouraged by continuing strong demand, now further stimulated by the easing of COVID-related restrictions.

“Advance ticket sales in the quarter were at 95 per cent of third quarter 2019 levels. In the third quarter, our adjusted unit cost improved by 38 per cent to 11.6 cents compared to the same period last year, and we will continue to carefully control costs,” Rousseau added.

Here are highlights of its Q3 results, issued 28OCT:

  • Operating margin of 12.1 per cent, first positive quarterly operating margin since the pandemic began
  • Operating revenues of $5.322 billion, more than double the third quarter of 2021
  • Net loss of $508 million compared to a net loss of $640 million in the third quarter of 2021
  • Total liquidity of over $10.2 billion at 30SEP, 2022

"We generated $644 million in operating income with a strong operating margin of 12.1 per cent. This was the first quarter since the pandemic began in which we delivered positive operating income. In addition, we achieved significant improvements in other metrics from a year ago. Operating revenues more than doubled to $5.3 billion, on a capacity growth of 130 per cent, and EBITDA increased to over a billion, with a margin of 19.9 per cent. Yields also improved, helping offset higher fuel prices,” the head of Air Canada noted.

“Air Canada Cargo is consistently contributing to our results and Aeroplan is continuing to perform extremely well with travel's return. Our transformed loyalty program's gross billings from points sold, purchase volume on co-brand cards, and new members are all at record highs,” Rousseau added.

“Air Canada marked its 85th anniversary this quarter. We stand on a robust foundation and, with our most recent financial results, investments and strategic plan, are confident we have a bright future in connecting Canada and the world," he concluded.

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