Air Canada warns of “great urgency” to ease restrictions as revenues decline 89%


MONTREAL – Air Canada suffered a loss of $ 1.75 billion in its most recent quarter as revenues nearly evaporated, prompting the airline to renew its appeal to the federal government to ease the COVID-19 travel restrictions that have devastated the industry.”The nearly 90% drop in revenue and over 96% passenger cuts reported today should heighten the urgency for governments in Canada to take reasonable steps to safely reopen our country and restore economic activity Said Air Canada CEO Calin Ronvinescu. in one version. “Other jurisdictions around the world are showing that it is possible to safely and responsibly manage the complementary priorities of public health, economic recovery, and job preservation and creation.”

The Montreal-based airline says it lost $ 6.44 per diluted share, compared to net income of $ 1.26 per share or $ 343 million a year earlier.

Revenue for the quarter ended June 30 was $ 527 million, compared to $ 4.74 billion in the second quarter of 2019. Passenger revenue fell to $ 207 million, while freight revenue increased 52% to $ 269 million.

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Air Canada is expected to lose $ 1 billion or $ 3.96 per share on $ 436.3 million in revenue, according to financial market data firm Refinitiv.

The country’s largest airline says it has access to $ 9.12 billion in cash after raising $ 5.5 billion in new equity, debt and aircraft financing since March.

It cut spending largely by cutting management and frontline workers to save $ 1.3 billion, permanently phasing out 79 aircraft representing more than 30% of its total fleet, suspending some domestic routes and reducing the capacity of its network of 92%.

“As with many other major airlines around the world, Air Canada’s second quarter results confirm the devastating and unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and government-imposed restrictions on travel and borders and quarantine requirements, ”Rovinescu said.

“Canada’s federal and interprovincial restrictions have been among the toughest in the world, effectively shutting down most commercial air travel in our country, which, combined with otherwise fragile demand, has resulted in Air Canada carrying fewer than four percent of passengers carried. in the second quarter of last year. ”

—With files from The Canadian Press


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