Air Canada to strategically increase capacity on trans border routes, will deploy more Q400s on western routes

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Air Canada to strategically increase capacity on trans border routes, will deploy more Q400s on western routes

Air Canada has announced it is upgrading service and boosting capacity on key trans border routes from its Toronto and Montreal hubs.

These enhancements are in addition to Air Canada’s recent announcement it will launch new daily flights from Montreal to Raleigh and increase capacity by deploying larger aircraft with Business Class and wi-fi options on its Toronto to Raleigh and Charlotte flights.

Upgraded services this summer peak include:

Route Frequencies Capacity Aircraft
Toronto-Nashville 2 daily flights effective June 1 152 daily seats 76 seat CR9 operated by Jazz Aviation LP effective June 1
Toronto-Washington (Dulles) 3 daily flights effective May 1 228 daily seats 76 seat Embraer E75 operated by Sky Regional effective May 1
Toronto-Memphis 1 daily flight effective May 1 76 daily seats 76 seat Embraer E75 operated by Sky Regional effective May 1
Toronto-Raleigh 3 daily flights effective May 1 228 daily seats 76 seat Embraer E75 operated by Sky Regional
Toronto-Charlotte 2 daily flights effective May 1 152 daily seats 76 seat Embraer E75 operated by Sky Regional
Toronto-Minneapolis Adding 1 flight for 4 daily flights effective June 3 304 daily seats 76 seat Embraer E75 operated by Sky Regional
Toronto-Philadelphia Adding 1 flight for 5 daily flights effective June 3 380 daily seats 76 seat Embraer E75 operated by Sky Regional
Toronto-Austin Adding 1 flight for 2 daily flights effective April 29 152 daily seats 76 seat Embraer E75 operated by Sky Regional
Montreal-Baltimore Adding 1 flight for 2 daily flights effective June 4 100 daily seats 50 seat CRJ operated by Jazz Aviation LP
Montreal-Raleigh New daily flights launching June 3 50 daily seats 50 seat CRJ operated by Jazz Aviation LP

In other news, Air Canada also announced strategic changes to Eastern Canada including upgrading Air Canada Express regional aircraft to larger Air Canada Rouge aircraft with inflight amenities on its flights from Toronto to Fredericton, Moncton and Thunder Bay, and from Montreal to St. John’s.

Route Frequencies
Montreal-St. John’s 2 daily Air Canada
Rouge A-319 flights
effective June 5
Toronto-Fredericton 2 daily Air Canada
Rouge A-319 flights
effective June 1
Toronto-Moncton 3 daily Air Canada
Rouge A-319 flights
effective May 1
Toronto-Thunder Bay 3 daily Air Canada
Rouge A-319 flights
effective May 1
Calgary-Halifax 1 daily Air Canada A
-320 flight effective
May 14

Following the recently finalized Capacity Purchase Agreement between Air Canada and Chorus Aviation, Air Canada is optimizing its fleet within its network strategy and deploying the aircraft best-suited to the communities it serves as it modernizes and simplifies its regional fleet.

Air Canada also announced it will boost capacity on regional routes across Western Canada this spring as it deploys more state-of-the-art Bombardier Q400 Next Gen aircraft (top).  The changes are part of an ongoing transformation of Air Canada Express that will result in enhanced services for customers.

Air Canada Express flights operated by Jazz Aviation LP are scheduled to provide convenient, point-to-point travel, as well as easy connections to Air Canada’s extensive domestic, US and international network at Vancouver and Calgary.  Customers also collect and redeem Aeroplan Miles through Canada’s leading loyalty program when travelling with Air Canada, and eligible customers have access to priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounges at main airports, priority boarding and other benefits.

Increased services this summer peak compared to last year include:

Route Frequencies Capacity
Vancouver-Nanaimo 7 daily Q-400 flights 546 daily seats, 14% increase
Vancouver-Comox 4 daily Q-400 flights 312 daily seats, 23% increase
Vancouver-Sandspit 2 daily Q-400 flights 156 daily seats, 52% increase
Vancouver-Prince Rupert 2 daily Q-400 flights 156 daily seats, 5% increase
Vancouver-Smithers 2 daily Q-400 flights 156 daily seats, 14% increase
Vancouver-Kamloops 4 daily Q-400 flights 312 daily seats, 25% increase
Vancouver-Penticton 3 daily Q-400 flights 234 daily seats, 17% increase
Calgary-Kelowna 3 daily Q-400 flights 234 daily seats, 13% increase
Calgary-Saskatoon 4 daily Q-400 flights 312 daily seats, 7% increase
Calgary-Winnipeg 2 daily A320 + 1 daily CR-900 flights 368 daily seats, 19% increase
Vancouver-Anchorage 1 daily 320 and 1 daily 319 flight 266 daily seats, 80% increase

On the financial side, Air Canada reported full year 2018 EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and aircraft rent) of $2.851 billion compared to full year 2017 record EBITDAR of $2.928 billion.  Air Canada reported an EBITDAR margin of 15.8 per cent, in line with its projections.  Air Canada reported 2018 operating income of $1.174 billion compared to 2017 operating income of $1.371 billion.  Adjusted pre-tax income(1)amounted to $952 million in 2018 compared to adjusted pre-tax income of $1.165 billion in 2017.  On a GAAP basis, the airline reported net income of $167 million in 2018 compared to net income of $2.029 billion in 2017.  The decrease of $1.862 billionin net income year-over-year is mainly due to an increase in net tax expense of $981 million, unfavourable foreign exchange results of $437 million and Air Canada having a recorded a loss on disposal of assets of $188 million in 2018.

“I am very pleased with Air Canada’s solid fourth quarter results with record EBITDAR of $543 million, and operating income of $122 million.  These quarterly results showed an improvement over last year’s fourth quarter on many fronts – including passenger revenues, traffic and yield – and complete a strong fiscal year.  Moreover, they demonstrate the resiliency of our business model and affirm that Air Canada has positioned itself for long-term, sustainable profitability. During the year, we successfully managed many challenges, including intensifying competition and a volatile fuel price environment which resulted in approximately $1 billion in additional costs or 30 per cent more than 2017,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada.

“Our strategy generated record operating revenues of more than $18 billion in 2018.  Combined with a strong adjusted CASM performance, we ended the year with record unrestricted liquidity of more than $5.7 billion and a leverage ratio of 2.1, positioning us well on our path towards investment grade.  The added financial flexibility these results give our company further bolsters our already confident outlook, based on current positive business trends.

“We carried a record 50.9 million customers in 2018, which is evidence of the success of our commercial strategy and the strength of the Air Canada brand. To further heighten our customer appeal, we are investing strategically in product and service enhancements, including a new enhanced reservation platform system planned to start operating later this year, a new loyalty program launching in 2020 to strengthen our recently completed Aimia Canada acquisition and our ongoing fleet renewal.

“Another outward sign of Air Canada’s success in 2018 was the number of significant awards won by our airline, notably Eco-Airline of the Year, a global recognition, and, for the second consecutive year, Best Airline in North America from Skytrax. These and a variety of other talent and sustainability awards are proof of the professionalism and commitment of Air Canada’s 30,000 employees, whom I thank for their hard work and dedication. I also thank our customers for their continued loyalty and for continuing to choose to fly Air Canada in record numbers,” said Mr. Rovinescu.