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article imageAir Canada posts profits in 2012

By Veronica Silva Cusi     Feb 7, 2013 in Business
Air Canada on Thursday said it posted profits in its fourth quarter and full year last year, a reversal of its performance the previous year.
Air Canada said in a press statement that its net income reached C$8 million in fourth quarter 2012 to total C$131 million for the full year.
Canada's biggest airline said its strict cost cutting measures and improved capacity management have helped the company reverse its fortune from the previous year. In 2011, Air Canada posted net loss of C$60 million in the fourth quarter and C$249 million for the full year.
The strong performance of the airline's international network, particularly in the Pacific, also contributed to the company's overall performance, said Calin Rovinescu, president and chief executive officer.
This year, the Montreal-based company said it will continue to expand its international network to Asia and other European destinations, and continue with further cost control measures.
The airline's operating income in the fourth quarter reached C$46 million compared to operating loss of C$98 million the previous year. For the full year, operating income reached C$437 million against C$179 million the previous year.
Air Canada also announced a new premium economy service on top of its ongoing fleet modernization, which includes five additional Boeing 777-300ERs, which are due for delivery within the next 12 months.
Air Canada s new premium economy cabin offers wider seats and more legroom.
Air Canada's new premium economy cabin offers wider seats and more legroom.
Air Canada
Reuters reported that offering a premium economy service is already a trend among major airlines. The service offers more flexibility and comfort, such as wider seats with extra leg room, than the regular economy class which has limits on the baggage and bookings.
Air Canada's announcement of the new premium economy cabin service closely follows its recent announcement of a leisure carrier, Air Canada rouge, which starts operating this July. The new airline caters to the leisure travel market, and will serve leisure destinations not served by Air Canada.
Ben Smith, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said adding the new Boeing aircraft allows the airline to offer new and enhanced services to its customers.
For 2013, Air Canada said it is expecting available seat mile (ASM) capacity to decrease up to 1.5 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. This is due to the fact that 2012 was a leap year. For the full year, however, Air Canada is expecting an increase in system capacity anywhere from 1.5 to three percent.
Just the other day, Air Canada reported that its system load factor in January 2013 reached a record of 79.4 per cent compared to 79.1 percent in January 2012. The airline credited the system uptick to increased traffic in the Atlantic and in domestic Canada.
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