Air Canada Reports Strong Year-End Holiday Travel Period

Air Canada Reports Strong Year-End Holiday Travel Period

C-GJYI, Air Canada Airbus A220-300 @KSLC. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways

DALLAS — Air Canada (AC) has announced a strong operational performance for the year-end holiday travel period, with nearly 2.6 million customers transported safely.

The airline achieved some of its best operational results in a decade, including completing 98 percent of scheduled flights and achieving an on-time performance of 70 percent.

C-FNNQ- Air Canada - Boeing 777-300ER (B77W) - YVR CYVR. Photo: Rohan Ramalingam/Airways
C-FNNQ, Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER (B77W) @YVR. Photo: Rohan Ramalingam/Airways

Operational Results

During the peak travel period between December 18, 2023, and January 6, 2024, AC experienced several operational highlights:

  • Approximately 2.6 million customers flew on Air Canada, which is about a 10 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022.
  • The on-time performance (OTP), measured by the industry standard of arrival within 15 minutes of the scheduled time, was 70 percent. This is a significant improvement from 40 percent in 2022 and higher than the pre-pandemic holiday period in 2019 when OTP was 54 percent.
  • The average delay, when one occurred, was 37 minutes, which is a 43 percent reduction from 2022 and 10 percent better than the last pre-pandemic holiday period in 2019.
  • Air Canada operated 20,075 flights during this period, with a completion rate of 98 percent. This resulted in an 80 percent reduction in canceled flights compared to 2022 and a 71 percent reduction compared to the last pre-pandemic holiday period in 2019.
  • The volume of delayed or mishandled bags dropped by 58 percent compared to the prior year, resulting in a baggage handling success rate of 98.6 percent. Domestic travelers also benefited from a new tracking feature on the Air Canada Mobile App that allows them to monitor the progress of their bags.

Air Canada achieved its best results in a decade for flight arrivals within 15 minutes, flight completion, the fewest canceled flights, and baggage delivery, excluding the peak pandemic year of 2020.

Air Canada Boeing 737-8, C-GMEX.Photo: Michal Mendyk/Airways
C-GMEX, Air Canada Boeing 737-8.Photo: Michal Mendyk/Airways

Operational Improvements

Air Canada is committed to continuous operational improvement. In the second half of 2023, the airline achieved a 19.1 percentage point improvement in on-time performance. To consistently exceed pre-pandemic levels, Air Canada has implemented several measures, including:

  • Maintaining stable staffing levels that exceed those from 2019, with increased experience levels reinforced through additional training programs
  • Improving schedule design to allow for additional flexibility in ground time and connecting time for customers
  • Collaborating closely with key partners in the travel ecosystem, including airport authorities, security agencies, customs and border processing, air traffic control, and third-party ground handlers, caterers, and fuelers
  • Focusing on customer experience through a new internal program called ECX (Elevating the Customer Experience), which aims to improve key passenger touchpoints through investments in technology, self-service, and business process redesign

Featured image: C-GJYI, Air Canada Airbus A220-300 @KSLC. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways

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