Air Canada Posts Smaller-Than-Expected Loss On Higher Traffic
Air Canada reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Monday (April 30) as the carrier flew more passengers and fares were higher on average.
Canada's largest airline said traffic rose 11.4% and passenger revenue per available seat mile, a key revenue measure for airlines, rose 3% in the first quarter.
"The demand environment continues to show strength, and our advance bookings are in line with expectations," chief executive Calin Rovinescu said in a statement.
The Montreal-based carrier is expanding its lower-cost carrier, Rouge, as passengers seek cheaper ways to fly. Like rival WestJet Airlines, the company is also raising fares to combat rising jet fuel costs.
Air Canada trimmed the top end of its full-year forecast for adjusted cost per available seat mile to 1% from 1.5%. It maintained the low end of the forecast, which projects a drop of 0.5%.
The carrier's fuel costs per litre jumped 16% in the quarter. Rising costs are an ongoing concern for airlines, as high fuel prices have swelled operating expenses.
Air Canada's operating expenses rose 11% and cost per available seat mile (CASM) - a measure of how much an airline spends to fly a passenger - rose 2.4%.
The airline's net loss widened to C$170 million ($132 million), or 62 Canadian cents per share, in the quarter, from C$13 million, or 5 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, the company lost 19 Canadian cents per share, smaller than analysts' average estimate of a loss of 44 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Operating revenue rose to C$4.07 billion from C$3.64 billion.