More routes in jeopardy post-COVID but Air Canada says it will wait on govt. talks

Air Canada reports nearly 90% drop in revenues in Q2

MONTREAL — Air Canada is reporting an operating loss of $1.555 billion in its latest quarter as revenues plummeted 89% as a result of the grounding of most flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Montreal-based airline says it lost $6.44 per diluted share, compared with net income equalling $1.26 per share or $343 million a year earlier.

Revenues for the three months ended June 30 were $527 million, down from $4.74 billion in the second quarter of 2019. Passenger revenues fell to $207 million while cargo revenues increased 52% to $269 million.

Air Canada was expected to lose $1 billion or $3.96 per share on $436.3 million of revenues, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

The country’s largest airline says it has access to $9.12 billion of cash after raising $5.5 billion in new equity, debt and aircraft financings since March.

It cut spending in large part by reducing management and frontline workers to save $1.3 billion, permanently retiring 79 aircraft representing more than 30 per cent of its overall fleet, suspending some domestic routes and cutting its network capacity by 92%.

“As with many other major airlines worldwide, Air Canada’s second quarter results confirm the devastating and unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and government-imposed travel and border restrictions and quarantine requirements,” stated CEO Calin Rovinescu.

“Canada’s federal and inter-provincial restrictions have been among the most severe in the world, effectively shutting down most commercial aviation in our country, which, together with otherwise fragile demand, resulted in Air Canada carrying less than 4% of the passengers carried during last year’s second quarter.”

Rovinescu added that with today’s reported declines in revenue, the need for Canada to reopen its borders has never been more urgent.

“Other jurisdictions globally are showing it is possible to safely and responsibly manage the complementary priorities of public health, economic recovery and job preservation and creation,” he said. “This is why Air Canada recently added its voice to that of many business and union leaders, including more than 140 major Canadian corporations and travel and tourism companies, employing nearly three million Canadians, in calling on the Government of Canada to take prudent steps to replace current blanket travel restrictions and quarantines with targeted evidence-based measures that reflect current circumstances.”

Get travel news right to your inbox!