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April 27, 2022

Air Canada Reports First Quarter 2022 Financial Results


Apr 26, 2022, 06:00 ET

  • First quarter operating revenues of $2.573 billion, or about three-and-a-half times first quarter 2021 operating revenues
  • First quarter 2022 operating loss of $550 million compared to an operating loss of $1.049 billion in the first quarter of 2021
  • Advance ticket sales grew about $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2022 from year end 2021
  • Airbus A321XLR order increased by four to 30 aircraft with IAE to supply related PW1100G-JM engines

MONTREAL, April 26, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today reported its first quarter 2022 financial results.

“The substantial year-over-year improvement in Air Canada’s first quarter results is clear evidence that a recovery is underway. Our strong improvement is a testament to our employees, and I thank them for their hard work taking care of our customers throughout more than two years of a global pandemic. Now, our employees are demonstrating this same level of determination, commitment and passion in executing on our recovery strategy,” said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada.

“The year began with weakness brought on by the Omicron variant and travel restrictions. However, we quickly rebounded in March with passenger volumes exceeding the strong December levels and passenger ticket sales in March 2022 over 90 per cent of March 2019 levels, a leading indicator to much stronger 2022 second and third quarter results. For the quarter, Air Canada had operating revenues of $2.573 billion, more than triple that of the same quarter in the prior year.  This was accompanied by a strict cost discipline that reduced adjusted CASM* by over six per cent from the fourth quarter of 2021. Quarterly EBITDA*, while a negative $143 million, improved $620 million over last year and we ended the quarter with $10.162 billion in unrestricted liquidity, close to 2021 year-end levels.

“In anticipation of our recovery, Air Canada has kept the course with key long-term projects to increase and diversify revenue and lower costs. One such program is the expansion of Air Canada Cargo, with quarterly revenue up 42 per cent to $398 million from the first quarter of 2021, and now further expanded with the addition of two new Boeing 767-300 freighters to be delivered in 2022.  The renegotiation of key engine maintenance contracts completed in the quarter, will also yield savings over the remaining life of the contracts.  Aeroplan air redemption bookings in the quarter exceeded those of the same quarter in 2019 by 19 per cent.  The relaunched program saw the highest new member acquisitions and redemptions in a quarter, and generated third-party gross billings exceeding first quarter 2019 levels by 21 per cent,” said Mr. Rousseau.

“Air Canada is rapidly adapting for the post-pandemic world. We are doing our part by contributing to the travel of Ukrainians to Canada, with a substantial donation of 100 million Aeroplan points.  We have also advanced our ESG goals in the quarter by announcing an order for 26 fuel-efficient Airbus A321XLR aircraft, which we have now increased to 30 aircraft. As well, we have recently entered into a long-term agreement with International Aero Engines, LLC (Pratt & Whitney) for the selection of the PW1100G-JM engines, spare engines and related maintenance services for these new aircraft.  We are responding to the evolving competitive landscape through our Rise Higher strategy to elevate all aspects of our business, particularly as it relates to the customer experience. Given pent-up travel demand, the demonstrated loyalty of our customers, and the expected further removal of travel-related government restrictions, Air Canada anticipates its recovery will gain momentum through the balance of 2022 and beyond,” said Mr. Rousseau.First Quarter 2022 Financial Results

  • In the first quarter of 2022, Air Canada’s operating capacity, measured by Available Seat Miles (ASMs) increased about 3.4 times from the first quarter of 2021. When compared to the first quarter of 2019, ASM capacity represented a decline of 45 per cent, which was generally in line with the capacity expectations projected in Air Canada’s fourth quarter 2021 earnings release dated February 18, 2022.
  • First quarter 2022 passenger revenues of $1.917 billion increased nearly five times from the first quarter of 2021.
  • First quarter 2022 operating revenues of $2.573 billion increased about three-and-a-half times from the first quarter of 2021.
  • First quarter 2022 total operating expenses of $3.123 billion increased $1.345 billion or 76 per cent from the first quarter of 2021.
  • First quarter 2022 cost per available seat mile (CASM) of 21.8 cents compared to first quarter 2021 CASM of 42.2 cents.
  • First quarter 2022 adjusted cost per available seat mile* (adjusted CASM) of 15.6 cents compared to first quarter 2021 adjusted CASM of 40.4 cents.
  • First quarter 2022 EBITDA (excluding special items)* or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of negative $143 million compared to negative EBITDA of $763 million in the first quarter of 2021.
  • First quarter 2022 net loss of $974 million or $2.72 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $1.304 billion or $3.90 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2021.
  • First quarter 2022 cash from operations was $335 million compared to cash used in operations of $888 million in the first quarter of 2021, an improvement of $1,223 million driven by improved operating results and strong advance ticket sales. Free cash flow of $59 million in the first quarter of 2022 improved by $1,221 million when compared to the same period in 2021.

* EBITDA, EBITDA margin, adjusted CASM and free cash flow (discussed further below) are non-GAAP financial measures or non-GAAP ratios. Such measures are not recognized measures for financial statement presentation under GAAP, do not have standardized meanings, may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other entities and should not be considered a substitute for or superior to GAAP results. Refer to the “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” section of this news release for descriptions of Air Canada’s non-GAAP financial measures and non-GAAP ratios and for a reconciliation of Air Canada non-GAAP measures to the most comparable GAAP financial measure.First Quarter 2022 Overview

Over the quarter, and until February 28, 2022, all travellers, regardless of vaccination status, were required to provide a negative pre-entry COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure or a proof of a positive test result received in the previous 11 to 180 days. On February 15, 2022, the Government of Canada announced changes to certain travel restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers.  Refer to section 4 “Overview & First Quarter 2022 Highlights” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2022 MD&A for additional information on such changes.

On March 17, 2022, the Government of Canada announced additional changes that came into effect on April 1, 2022, allowing for fully vaccinated travellers to no longer be required to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by air, land or water. Foreign nationals who do not meet the requirements to be considered fully vaccinated are not able to enter Canada unless they meet an exemption set out in the Orders made under the Quarantine Act. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers allowed to enter Canada remain subject to the federal requirement to quarantine and take a COVID-19 PCR test at the time of arrival and on day eight after arrival

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