“Encouraging indicators”: Air Canada’s Q4 operating revenues hit $2.73 billion

Air Canada’s Q3 2021 operating revenue nearly triples year-over-year

MONTREAL — Air Canada has reported a loss of $640 million in its latest quarter, however its operating revenue nearly tripled compared with a year ago as the airline ramped up capacity in the wake of COVID-19.

Revenue totalled $2.10 billion, up from $757 million in the same quarter last year.

Air Canada increased its capacity in the quarter as measured by available seat miles by 87% compared with Q3 2020. It was down 66% compared with Q3 2019.

Air Canada plans to increase its fourth-quarter capacity by about 135% compared with the same quarter in 2020. Compared to 2019, Q4 capacity is expected to be down 47%.

“We are encouraged by the favourable revenue and traffic trends in the third quarter, with strong increases in key passenger geographic segments, a record cargo performance and significant improvements in both Air Canada Vacations and Aeroplan. The combination of these factors, along with effective cost controls, resulted in net cash flow of $153 million for the quarter, materially better than expected and as compared to the third quarter of 2020,” said Michael Rousseau, President and CEO, Air Canada.

“Another major accomplishment was the series of financing transactions completed in August, allowing us to lower our cost of borrowing, extend the maturities of our corporate debt, and raise gross proceeds of about $7.1 billion.  As a result, at the end of the third quarter of 2021, Air Canada had about $9.5 billion in available liquidity on its balance sheet. This strong liquidity position and the confidence it conveys is a core element of our long-term prospects as we rebuild our airline. We also have about $4.9 billion available under undrawn facilities.

“Since the start of the year we have recalled more than 10,000 employees. We have expanded services to the U.S., and have launched new routes, such as to Cairo. We also announced expansions of our services to India and South America as well as the return next summer of popular seasonal destinations such as Barcelona, Venice, Nice and Reykjavik.

He added that to support Air Canada’s network restoration, the company has reversed its decision to cancel two Airbus A220 aircraft orders and is now accelerating deliveries of new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. “For our customers, we are pleased to bring back amenities such as onboard meal service and Maple Leaf Lounges,” said Rousseau.

With file from The Canadian Press

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