MONTREAL — Air Canada has posted operating revenues of $2.573 billion – or about three-and-a-half times first quarter 2021’s operating revenues – for the first quarter of 2022.
The company’s Q1 2022 operating loss of $550 million compares to an operating loss of $1.049 billion in the first quarter of 2021.
Meanwhile advance ticket sales grew about $1.2 billion in Q1 2022 from year-end 2021.
Air Canada has also increased its Airbus A321XLR order by four to 30 aircraft.
Michael Rousseau, President and CEO of Air Canada, notes that the substantial year-over-year improvement in Air Canada’s Q1 results “is clear evidence that a recovery is underway.”
While the start of 2022 was negatively impacted by the omicron variant and travel restrictions, Air Canada quickly rebounded in March 2022. Canada’s first wave of eased border measures, including the downgraded travel advisory, took effect Feb. 28.
Air Canada’s passenger ticket sales in March 2022 were more than 90% of March 2019 levels, notes Rousseau, “a leading indicator to much stronger 2022 second and third quarter results.”
And Aeroplan air redemption bookings in the quarter exceeded those of the same quarter in 2019 by 19%. Relaunched in November 2020, Aeroplan saw the highest new member acquisitions and redemptions in a quarter, and generated third-party gross billings exceeding first quarter 2019 levels by 21%, said Rousseau.
Air Canada is rapidly adapting for the post-pandemic world, including the additional Airbus A321XLRs, he adds. Air Canada is also focused on protecting and growing its market share as new entrants launch: “We are responding to the evolving competitive landscape through our Rise Higher strategy to elevate all aspects of our business, particularly as it relates to the customer experience.”
Rousseau adds: “Given pent-up travel demand, the demonstrated loyalty of our customers, and the expected further removal of travel-related government restrictions, Air Canada anticipates its recovery will gain momentum through the balance of 2022 and beyond.”