DALLAS – Air Canada’s (AC) solid third-quarter results correlate with the airline’s ongoing network restoration and improved operational performance.
The airline’s President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Rousseau has stated that the third quarter financial results stem from the carrier’s “modern and efficient fleet, leading products and services, and an incredible team of employees.”
The airline generated C$644m in operating income with a 12.1% operating margin, delivering positive operating income for the first time since the pandemic began.
In addition, AC saw significant improvements in other metrics compared to the previous year. Operating revenues more than doubled to C$5.3bn on a 130% increase in capacity, and EBITDA increased to over a billion with a margin of 19.9%.
Rousseau added that, despite the global disruption of air travel, AC transported nearly 11.5 million customers to their destinations in Q3, and stated that the carrier was encouraged by the continued strong demand, which has been boosted by the relaxation of COVID-related restrictions.
Finally, advance ticket sales in the quarter were 95% of the third quarter of 2019. AC’s adjusted unit cost, or adjusted CASM, improved by 38% to C11.6 cents in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, and we will continue to carefully control costs. We had just over C$10.2bn in total liquidity at the end of the quarter.
Air Canada intends to increase its ASM capacity by roughly 60% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the same quarter in 2021. (or approximately 85% of the fourth quarter 2019 ASM capacity). The carrier recently announced an order for 15 additional A220-300 aircraft, bringing the total number of A220s the airline has ordered from 45 to 60 aircraft.
The A220 is already an important aircraft for AC, as it operates over 30 of the type on its medium-haul network in North America and to other destinations in Mexico, and the Caribbean islands.
Further Comments from Air Canada CEO
Mr. Rousseau said, “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 while traveling this summer, and we sincerely regret any inconvenience that may have occurred.”
The CEO added, “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. 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,” concluded Mr. Rousseau.
Featured image: Air Canada Turning Red A220-300 at YYJ. Photo: Michal Mendyk/Airways