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  • Joe Breitfeller

Air Canada Reports Fourth Quarter Net Loss of $493 Million, Full Year 2021 Net Loss of $3.6 Billion

Air Canada has reported a fourth quarter net loss of $493 million or ($1.38) per diluted share on a 30 percent increase in revenue to $2.73 billion versus Q4 2020. For the full year 2021, the carrier reported a net loss of $3.6 billion or ($10.25) per diluted share.


Air Canada Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner - Courtesy Air Canada

On Friday (February 18, 2022), Air Canada reported their financial results for the fourth quarter and full year for the period ending December 31, 2021. The carrier reported a fourth quarter net loss of $493 million or ($1.38) per diluted share on a 30 percent increase in revenue to $2.73 billion compared to Q4 2020. For the full year 2021, Air Canada reported a net loss of $3.6 billion or ($10.25) per diluted share on a 10 percent year-over-year increase in revenue to $6.4 billion. At December 31, 2021, the company had unrestricted liquidity of $10.4 billion, excluding funds that were available at September 30, 2021, under the financial package with the Government of Canada.


In Friday’s announcment, Air Canada’s President and Chief executive Officer, Michael Rousseau, said,


“The unpredictable course of COVID-19 made 2021 extremely challenging for Air Canada and the global airline industry. But the sequential and year-over-year improvement in Air Canada's fourth quarter results shows the underlying recovery remains intact despite the Omicron variant. Our progress rebuilding our airline is due to the hard work, resourcefulness, and commitment of our people. I warmly thank our employees for their dedication and professionalism, which have been unwavering through nearly two years of a global pandemic. I also thank our customers, including shippers, for their steadfast loyalty in continuing to choose Air Canada. As restrictions lift and more people return to flying with us, they will discover measures introduced for COVID safety have been adapted to smooth their journey. As we look at our renewed commitment to customer service excellence, we have more exciting initiatives to come.


“Our quarterly EBITDA exceeded our expectations and turned positive for the first time in seven quarters, cash flow from operations remained positive and accelerated from the third quarter, and we ended the year with $10.4 billion in unrestricted liquidity, an increase of $2.3 billion, or about 29 per cent from the start of the year. We grew our capacity 26 per cent from the previous quarter, while continuing to successfully manage load factor and yields in the right direction. Prior to Omicron's onset, ticket sales reached 65 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in October and November. These are all encouraging indicators.


“Moreover, robust advance ticket sales, which grew almost $400 million in the quarter, give us confidence that our customers will keep returning and that Omicron's effect on our business is travel deferred, not cancelled. Our other lines of business thrived throughout the year, Air Canada Cargo’s record annual revenue of nearly $1.5 billion exceeded $1 billion for the first time, reaching $490 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, our transformed Aeroplan program reported strong billings, and Air Canada Vacations bookings sharply rebounded.


“There are other unmistakable signs of revival. We have been actively restoring our network, with 118 stations served at the end of 2021 up from 70 at its start, and the average number of daily flights rising to 665 in December 2021 from 245 in January 2021. We have been advancing ESG initiatives, including those related to the environment and diversity. And, most importantly, we have recalled over 10,000 colleagues, including 3,900 in the fourth quarter, and we have also begun hiring new employees. As we move into 2022, all expectations are that the recovery in air travel will continue, albeit unevenly.


“Nonetheless, we believe the regeneration of our business will gain momentum. To this end, we are working cooperatively with governments as they look to adapt their policies, based on science, and taking into account the significant health and safety measures Air Canada and the airline industry have implemented, to allow Canada to capture the economic benefits of the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which will be derived from increased trade and travel.”


Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline. The Canadian flag carrier is a founding member of the Star Alliance and the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax. For the last two years Air Canada was also named Global Traveler’s ‘Best Airline in North America.’ Additionally, Air Canada has committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050.



Source: Air Canada/CNW Telbec