MONTREAL — In his first official communication as Air Canada’s new president and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Rousseau thanked all customers for their continued loyalty and assured them that when they are ready to travel again, the airline will be more than ready.
It’s been one month since Rousseau took over the reins from Calin Rovinescu, who retired on Feb. 15. Prior to being named president and CEO, Rousseau served as Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer since 2018, having previously served as Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer since 2007.
His first column in his new role appears in enRoute Magazine, Air Canada’s award-winning in-flight publication. Here is his column in its entirety:
“This is my first column as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada, and I would like to begin by thanking all customers – past, present and future – for your loyalty and for choosing to fly with us.
“Although many of you have not had a chance to travel recently, we know the desire to do so remains strong. I assure you that when you are ready to fly again, we are well-prepared to carry you safely. From the very beginning of the pandemic, we have continually layered on new biosafety measures and improved upon those already in place. All of us at Air Canada are eager to welcome you back on board.
“I joined Air Canada as Chief Financial Officer in 2007 to help the company at another difficult time in our industry, during the global financial panic. I saw first-hand how a period of upheaval is an ideal opportunity to make changes and try new things.
“In the past year, we finished the technically challenging task of installing a new reservation system to serve customers better, and we launched a transformed Aeroplan program that is a step change in terms of flexibility and reward appeal. We also made major changes to our fleet, renewing it with modern Airbus A220 and Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that are more comfortable and, importantly, more environmentally friendly, than the older aircraft we retired.
“We mostly did all this without fanfare. Still, these and other innovations, such as convenient new touchless airport processes, will be key to recovering from the pandemic and allowing us to emerge even better than before. At the same time, we will continue to deliver the superior customer service that won us the title of Best Airline in North America at eight of the last 10 Skytrax World Airline Awards.
“Leading an iconic company like Air Canada is a huge responsibility and, for a proud Canadian like me, also a great honour. I look forward to the challenge, confident that our dedicated and highly motivated team will exceed your expectations as we transport you safely to your next destination.”