Air Canada loses $508 million in ‘operationally challenging’ quarter: What you need to know

Air Canada loses $508 million in ‘operationally challenging’ quarter: What you need to know

28 Oct    Finance News

CEO says company ‘sincerely’ regrets the chaos many travellers experienced this summer

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Montreal-based Air Canada reported a net loss of $508 million in the third quarter, an improvement over the same period a year earlier, as operational issues continued to hinder the country’s flagship airline.

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Chief executive Michael Rousseau said in a press release that “operation today is now on par with pre-pandemic levels,” but added, “still, we know many customers experienced disruptions travelling this summer, and we sincerely regret any inconveniences that have occurred.”

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Rousseau also alluded to the chaos that came with the airline’s attempt to run its first normal schedule since the pandemic: “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.”

Here’s what you need to know about their earnings for the three-month period ending Sept. 30, 2022:

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Financials

Revenue reached $5.3 billion in the third quarter, compared with $2.1 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Diluted net loss per share was $1.42 per share, compared with $1.79 per share in the same quarter last year.

The company had an EBITDA of $1.06 billion in the first quarter, better than the EBITDA loss of $67 million in the year ago quarter.

Backstory

Air Canada saw its operating revenue climb more than fivefold this summer, as travel returned to pre-pandemic levels. But without adequate resources, the carrier struggled to keep up with the spike in demand. The airline cut 15 per cent of its summer schedule to focus on rebuilding capacity.

In the second quarter, the company was hit by a spate of bad press relating to flight changes and lost baggage, which continued into the third quarter. Air Canada recently apologizedfor preventing a visually impaired woman from flying with her guide dog, an experience she called “humiliating.” In another incident, the company damaged a woman’s $30,000 wheelchair and it took the company two months to agree to replace it.

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Another man had $1,000 worth of belongings destroyed when his bag got caught in a conveyor belt. Air Canada only agreed to reimburse him with $180 and a 15-per-cent voucher for his next flight. Only after the incident received press coverage did the airline agree to compensate him $1,190 and offer a $300 voucher for his next trip.

Still, the company took a few steps forward, recently putting up a posting hiring flight attendants in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. It also announced the acquisition of 15 Airbus A220-300 aircraft, built in Mirabel, Que.

The company also put in place eight scholarships for Canadian women studying to become commercial pilots or maintenance engineers, in partnership with Montreal-based CAE Inc.

More to come … 

• Email: mcoulton@postmedia.com | Twitter:

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