Tag Archives: 35257

Air Canada to upgrade the Newark – Vancouver route to Boeing 787-8s

Air Canada Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner C-GHPQ (msn 35257) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 923112.

Air Canada (Montreal) will up gauge the daily Newark – Vancouver route from Airbus A319s to Boeing 787-8s for next summer starting on June 17, 2016 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 C-GHPQ (msn 35257) arrives in Zurich.

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Air Canada reports a first quarter net profit of $122 million

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Air Canada (Montreal) today (May 12) reported first quarter adjusted net income of $122 million (all amounts are in Canadian dollars) or $0.41 per diluted share compared to an adjusted net loss of $132 million or $0.46 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2014, an improvement of $254 million or $0.87 per diluted share. EBITDAR(1) (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and aircraft rent) amounted to $442 million compared to EBITDAR of $147 million in the same quarter in 2014, an increase of $295 million or 200 per cent year-over-year.

Here is the rest of the financial report:

 

On a GAAP basis, Air Canada reported operating income of $200 million in the first quarter of 2015 compared to an operating loss of $62 million in the first quarter of 2014, an improvement of $262 million. The airline recorded an operating margin of 6.2 per cent compared to a negative operating margin of 2.0 per cent in the first quarter of 2014, an improvement of 8.2 percentage points.

“I am delighted to report the best first quarter financial performance in Air Canada’s history,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Record results in adjusted net income, operating income, operating margin, EBITDAR, passenger revenues and passenger load factor for the quarter all underscore our team’s success in executing on our value-enhancing strategies. We have continued to see a strong demand environment, and in the first quarter our margins expanded dramatically, bolstered by strong cost control, with adjusted CASM declining 1.8 per cent despite the weaker Canadian dollar, and solid traffic growth particularly on leisure sun routes.

“While fuel prices remain volatile, in 2015 we expect to continue to expand margins, increase adjusted net income, strengthen our balance sheet and create value for shareholders. We also expect to set a new record for second quarter operating income this year; however year-over-year improvements will likely be modest when compared to the first quarter improvement. This is due to a particularly strong revenue performance in the second quarter of 2014 and higher projected maintenance expense, the absence of favourable tax-related provisions adjustments of $41 million recorded in the second quarter of 2014, as well as higher relative fuel prices in the second quarter versus the first quarter of 2015.

“I would like to thank Air Canada’s 27,000 employees for their hard work earning the loyalty of our customers as we continue to implement our commercial strategy focused on international growth with a renewed fleet and onboard product.”

First Quarter Income Statement Highlights

In the first quarter of 2015, on capacity growth of 9.3 per cent, system passenger revenues of $2.786 billion increased $178 million or 6.9 per cent from the first quarter of 2014. The increase in system passenger revenues was due to traffic growth of 10.9 per cent partly offset by a yield decline of 4.2 per cent. An increase in average stage length of 2.7 per cent versus the same quarter in 2014, reflecting international long-haul growth, had the effect of reducing system yield by 1.6 percentage points. On a stage length adjusted basis, system yield decreased 2.6 per cent year-over-year. Modest yield declines are an anticipated and natural consequence of the successful implementation of Air Canada’s strategy to profitably increase long-haul international and leisure flying.

Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) decreased 2.7 per cent from the first quarter of 2014 as the lower yield was partly offset by a passenger load factor improvement of 1.2 percentage points.

In the first quarter of 2015, operating expenses of $3.049 billion decreased $78 million or 2 per cent from the first quarter of 2014 on capacity growth of 9.3 per cent. The decline in operating expenses reflected the impact of lower jet fuel prices largely offset by the impact of the weaker Canadian dollar and capacity-related cost increases. The unfavourable impact of a weaker Canadian dollar on foreign currency denominated operating expenses (mainly U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of 2015, when compared to the first quarter of 2014, increased operating expenses by approximately $135 million. This currency impact was partly offset by a favourable currency impact of $38 million on passenger revenues and realized currency derivatives gains of $51 million.

Air Canada’s adjusted cost per available seat mile (adjusted CASM(1)), which excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations® and unusual items, decreased 1.8 per cent from the first quarter of 2014, better than the 0.5 to 1.5 per cent increase projected in Air Canada’s news release dated February 11, 2015. The better than expected adjusted CASM performance was largely due to:

Lower than anticipated aircraft maintenance expenses, primarily driven by the acceleration of aircraft lease extensions and certain favourable lease return condition provision adjustments, reducing maintenance expenses by $22 million in the first quarter of 2015;
The impact of the new Jazz CPA, effective January 1, 2015, whereby certain costs, such as ground handling services performed by Air Canada, are no longer recovered from Jazz and passed through to Air Canada under the Jazz CPA as capacity purchase fees, thereby reducing both other revenues and capacity purchase fees; and

Lower than expected employee benefits expense due to lower benefit payments and improved plan experience.

Financial and Capital Management Highlights

At March 31, 2015, unrestricted liquidity (cash, short-term investments and undrawn lines of credit) amounted to over $3.1 billion (March 31, 2014 – $2.5 billion). Air Canada’s principal objective in managing liquidity risk is to maintain a minimum unrestricted liquidity level of $1.7 billion.

At March 31, 2015, adjusted net debt(1) amounted to $5.19 billion, an increase of $58 million from December 31, 2014, as higher long-term debt and finance lease balances were largely offset by higher cash and short-term investments balances. The airline’s adjusted net debt to EBITDAR ratio was 2.6 at March 31, 2015 versus a ratio of 3.1 at December 31, 2014. Air Canada uses this ratio to manage its financial leverage risk and its objective is to maintain the ratio below 3.5.

In the first quarter of 2015, free cash flow(1) of $383 million was $349 million higher than in the first quarter of 2014, reflecting higher cash flows from operating activities partly offset by an increase in capital expenditures which included the acquisition of two Boeing 787-8 aircraft in the first quarter of 2015.

For the 12 months ended March 31, 2015, return on invested capital (ROIC(1)) was 15.2 per cent versus 10.9 per cent for the 12 months ended March 31, 2014. Air Canada’s goal is to maintain a sustainable ROIC of 10 to 13 per cent.

Further to Air Canada’s foreign exchange risk management practices (which are more fully described in Air Canada’s 2014 MD&A dated February 11, 2015), foreign denominated revenues essentially act as a natural hedge against U.S. dollar denominated non-fuel operating expenses. As such, net U.S. dollar operating expenses are largely attributable to the airline’s fuel purchases which are currently at a much lower cost in Canadian dollars despite the impact of a weaker Canadian dollar.

U.S. dollar currency derivatives and U.S. dollar cash reserves which, as at March 31, 2015, amounted to US$2.2 billion and US$711 million, respectively, are employed to offset approximately 65 per cent of the net U.S. dollar currency exposure over the next 18 months. The currency derivatives enable Air Canada to purchase U.S. dollars at a weighted average price of C$1.1784 (subject to various option pricing features, such as knock-out terms and profit cap limitations). These derivatives and U.S. dollar cash reserves would be available to mitigate certain cash flow exposure from the currency movements over the next 18 months; however the benefit of these hedging activities is recorded as a foreign exchange gain and not within operating income.

Current Outlook

Capacity

Air Canada expects second quarter 2015 system ASM capacity, as measured by available seat miles (ASMs), to increase 8.75 to 9.75 per cent when compared to the second quarter of 2014, and to be comprised of an increase in the total number of seats dispatched (system) of 5.5 to 6.5 per cent and an increase in system average stage length (measured by ASMs divided by seats dispatched) of approximately 3.0 per cent when compared to the same quarter in 2014.

Air Canada continues to expect its full year 2015 system ASM capacity to increase by 9.0 to 10.0 per cent. For the full year 2015, Air Canada continues to expect an increase in the total number of seats dispatched (system) of 6.0 to 7.0 per cent and an increase in average stage length (system) of approximately 3.0 per cent when compared to the full year 2014. Approximately 55 per cent of the 2015 forecasted capacity increase will be through the continued lower-cost growth of Air Canada rouge® while approximately 38 per cent of the capacity growth will be targeted to international markets operated by the mainline carrier.

Air Canada continues to expect its full year 2015 domestic ASM capacity to increase 3.5 to 4.5 per cent when compared to 2014, with a large part of the growth focused on the airline’s transcontinental services. The increase on transcontinental services is partly driven by the positioning of certain Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft at Air Canada’s major hubs in Toronto and Vancouver. Furthermore, in 2015, an overlap of the aircraft brought into the fleet to replace the exiting Embraer 190 aircraft is expected to account for approximately 30 per cent of the projected domestic capacity growth in 2015. This overlap is designed to better match capacity with expected 2015 summer season demand. For the full year 2015, Air Canada continues to expect an increase in the total number of seats dispatched (domestic) of 2.5 to 3.5 per cent and an increase in average stage length (domestic) of approximately 1.0 per cent when compared to the full year 2014.

Adjusted CASM

For the second quarter of 2015, Air Canada expects adjusted CASM (which excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items) to increase 0.25 to 1.25 per cent when compared to the second quarter of 2014.

For the full year 2015, Air Canada now expects adjusted CASM to decrease 1.5 to 2.5 per cent from the full year 2014 (as opposed to the decrease of 0.75 to 1.75 per cent projected in Air Canada’s February 11, 2015 news release). This improvement is largely driven by the impact of the new Jazz CPA, effective January 1, 2015, whereby certain costs, such as ground handling services performed by Air Canada, are no longer recovered from Jazz and passed through to Air Canada under the Jazz CPA.

Major Assumptions

Air Canada’s outlook assumes annual Canadian GDP growth of 1.75 to 2.25 per cent for 2015. Air Canada also expects that the Canadian dollar will trade, on average, at C$1.22 per U.S. dollar in the second quarter of 2015 and for the full year 2015 and that the price of jet fuel will average 69 cents per litre for the second quarter of 2015 and 70 cents per litre for the full year 2015.

(1) Non-GAAP Measures

Below is a description of certain non-GAAP measures used by Air Canada to provide additional information on its financial and operating performance. Such measures are not recognized measures for financial statement presentation under Canadian GAAP and do not have standardized meanings and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other public companies. Refer to Air Canada’s First Quarter 2015 MD&A for reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures.

Adjusted net income (loss) and adjusted net income (loss) per diluted share are used by Air Canada to assess its performance without the effects of foreign exchange, net financing expense on employee benefits, mark-to-market adjustments on fuel and other derivatives and unusual items.

EBITDAR is commonly used in the airline industry and is used by Air Canada to assess earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and aircraft rent as these costs can vary significantly among airlines due to differences in the way airlines finance their aircraft and other assets.

Adjusted CASM is used by Air Canada to assess the operating performance of its ongoing airline business without the effects of fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items, as such expenses may distort the analysis of certain business trends and render comparative analysis to other airlines less meaningful.

Adjusted net debt is a key component of the capital managed by Air Canada and provides a measure of the airline’s net indebtedness. Adjusted net debt is calculated as the sum of total long-term debt and finance lease obligations and capitalized operating leases less cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments.

Free cash flow is used by Air Canada as an indicator of the financial strength and performance of its business because it shows how much cash is available for such purposes as repaying debt, meeting ongoing financial obligations and reinvesting in Air Canada.

Return on invested capital (ROIC) is used by Air Canada to assess the efficiency with which it allocates its capital to generate returns. Return is based on Adjusted net income (loss) (as referred to in the above paragraph), excluding interest expense and implicit interest on operating leases. Invested capital includes average year-over-year total assets, net of average year-over-year non-interest-bearing operating liabilities, and the value of capitalized operating leases (calculated by multiplying annualized aircraft rent by 7).

Copyright Photo below: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Canada acquired two Boeing 787-8 aircraft in the first quarter of 2015. C-GHPQ (msn 35257) departs from London (Heathrow).

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Air Canada is coming to Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Air Canada (Montreal) is coming to Dubai with a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner route from the Toronto (Pearson) hub. The airline issued this statement:

Air Canada today said that it will launch nonstop service between Toronto and Dubai beginning in November 2015. The new route will extend the airline’s international network farther into the Middle East at a time of increased travel between North America and the region.

“The introduction of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Air Canada’s fleet this year has been a catalyst for our international expansion plans, which will receive an additional impetus in 2015 when the larger Dreamliner 787-9 series aircraft begins to enter the fleet. The Dreamliner has brought international air travel to a new level of comfort and Air Canada has further enhanced the experience with its award-winning, three-cabin service.”

Air Canada currently serves the region primarily through an extensive joint venture with its JV and Star Alliance partner Lufthansa over Frankfurt and Munich. In addition, the new route will build on Air Canada’s existing codeshare relationship with Etihad Airways, with whom it codeshares on three flights a week between Toronto and Abu Dhabi, in the UAE.

Since last December, Air Canada has announced new international service to Delhi, Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro, Osaka, Tokyo-Haneda and Panama City. Including Dubai, Air Canada now serves or has announced service to a total of 66 international destinations on five continents from its Toronto global hub.

The three-times-weekly service starts on November 3, 2015. Flights will be operated with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in a three cabin configuration, including next generation lie-flat seats in International Business Class, a Premium Economy cabin, and upgraded In-Flight Entertainment available at every seat throughout the aircraft.

Schedule:

Air Canada YYZ-DXB Schedule

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner C-GHPQ (msn 35257) arrives at the Toronto (Pearson) hub.

Air Canada aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Air Canada to add the Boeing 787 from Vancouver for its Asian routes

Air Canada (Montreal) is gradually introducing the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Vancouver, replacing its older Boeing 767-300 ERs on some of its long-range routes. The carrier will introduce the 787 on the Vancouver-Shanghai (Pudong) route on October 26, Vancouver-Tokyo (Narita) on December 15, Vancouver-Beijing on February 1, 2015 and Vancouver-Seoul (Incheon) on March 1, 2015 per Airline Route.

In addition, Air Canada plans to operate Boeing 787 on the Vancouver-Toronto (Pearson) route at least once a day during the winter season effective October 26.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner C-GHPQ (msn 35257) departs from Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

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Air Canada reports record second quarter 2014 results of $139 million

Air Canada (Montreal) today reported second quarter adjusted net income (1) of $139 million (all amounts in Canadian dollars) or $0.47 per diluted share compared to adjusted net income of $115 million or $0.41 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2013, an improvement of $24 million or 21 per cent. EBITDAR (1) (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment, and aircraft rent) amounted to $456 million compared to EBITDAR of $385 million in the second quarter of 2013. On a GAAP basis, Air Canada reported net income of $223 million or $0.75 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2014 compared to a net loss of $23 million or $0.09 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2013. Air Canada’s second quarter 2014 EBITDAR and GAAP net income results included favourable tax-related provision adjustments of $41 million. These provisions are excluded from Air Canada’s adjusted (net income and CASM) results.

“I am pleased to report that Air Canada delivered its best second quarter financial performance in the Corporation’s history, surpassing last year’s records in all three measures of operating income, adjusted net income and EBITDAR,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer. These results underline the significant incremental progress being achieved through our various value-enhancing strategies, as they continue to be implemented.

“In addition to seeing good year-over-year revenue growth in all of our five markets, we have also seen a marked increase in the number of international and U.S.-originating customers choosing Air Canada for their global travel plans. Investments by Air Canada and our industry partners to provide a seamless transfer experience at Canada’s major hubs are starting to show results. The performance of Air Canada rougeTM has exceeded expectations and allows Air Canada to now compete more effectively in leisure markets on a more cost effective basis. Combined with Air Canada’s other cost transformation strategies, adjusted CASM decreased 4.7 per cent from the previous year’s quarter.

“During the quarter, Air Canada took delivery of the first two of 37 firm orders for the Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft and a third since, in July (above). The renewal of our international fleet with these next-generation aircraft will provide us with significant improvements in fuel efficiency and allow us to offer customers superior comfort and amenities. We look forward to realizing the full benefits of our international fleet renewal as new aircraft enter the mainline fleet.

“I am especially pleased that once again international air travellers surveyed by the independent UK-based research firm, Skytrax, selected Air Canada as Best Airline in North America for the fifth year in a row. This honour recognizes the professionalism of our employees and their commitment to taking care of our customers, as well as our investment in providing an award-winning product on board our aircraft and on the ground.

“Looking ahead, we remain focused on maintaining the momentum to transform Air Canada into an increasingly profitable company for our shareholders and employees, and executing on our four core priorities: cost transformation, international growth, customer engagement and culture change,” concluded Mr. Rovinescu.

Second Quarter Income Statement Highlights

System passenger revenues amounted to $2,965 million, an increase of $208 million or 7.5 per cent from the second quarter of 2013, on a 9.9 per cent growth in traffic as yield declined 2.1 per cent year-over-year. Average stage length, on a system-basis, increased 2.5 percent from the same quarter of 2013 and had the effect of reducing yield by 1.5 percentage points. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) decreased 0.8 per cent from the same quarter in 2013 on the lower yield as passenger load factor improved 1.1 percentage points. In the second quarter of 2014, system premium cabin revenues increased $14 million or 2.4 per cent on yield growth of 3.6 per cent partly offset by a traffic decline of 1.2 per cent.

Operating expenses amounted to $3,060 million, an increase of $177 million or 6 per cent from the second quarter of 2013 on an 8.5 per cent increase in capacity. Included in Other operating expenses in the second quarter of 2014 were favourable tax-related provision adjustments of $41 million. The unfavourable impact of a weaker Canadian dollar on foreign currency denominated operating expenses (mainly U.S. dollars), when compared to same quarter in 2013, increased operating expenses by $110 million. This unfavourable currency impact on operating expenses was partially offset by a favourable currency impact on passenger revenues of $70 million.

Air Canada’s adjusted cost per available seat mile (adjusted CASM(1)), which excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada VacationsTM and unusual items, decreased 4.7 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2013. The 4.7 per cent reduction in adjusted CASM surpassed the adjusted CASM decrease of 3.5 to 4.5 per cent projected in Air Canada’s news release dated May 15, 2014, largely the result of ASM capacity coming at the top end of the expected range and a slight improvement in the value of the Canadian dollar versus what Air Canada assumed in its May 15, 2014 projections.

In the second quarter of 2014, Air Canada recorded operating income of $245 million compared to operating income of $174 million in the second quarter of 2013, an improvement of $71 million. Air Canada’s second quarter 2014 operating income results included favourable tax-related provision adjustments of $41 million.

Financial and Capital Management Highlights

At June 30, 2014, unrestricted liquidity (cash, short-term investments and undrawn lines of credit) amounted to $2,954 million (June 30, 2013 – $2,139 million). Air Canada’s principal objective in managing liquidity risk is to maintain a minimum unrestricted liquidity level of $1.7 billion.

In April 2014, Air Canada completed a private offering of US$400 million of 7.75 per cent senior unsecured notes due 2021 and received net proceeds of approximately $432 million.

At June 30, 2014, adjusted net debt (1) amounted to $4,309 million, a decrease of $42 million from December 31, 2013. The airline’s adjusted net debt to EBITDAR ratio was 2.9 at June 30, 2014 versus a ratio 3.0 at December 31, 2013. Air Canada uses this ratio to manage its financial leverage risk and its objective is to maintain the ratio below 3.5.

In the second quarter of 2014, free cash flow (1) reflected a decline of $183 million from the second quarter of 2013, reflecting primarily the acquisition of two Boeing 787 aircraft.

For the 12 months ended June 30, 2014, return on invested capital (ROIC (1)) was 11.0 per cent versus 8.8 per cent for the 12 months ended June 30, 2013. Air Canada’s goal is to achieve a sustainable ROIC of 10 to 13 per cent by 2015.

Pension Highlights

Based on actuarial valuations completed in the second quarter of 2014, the aggregate solvency surplus in Air Canada’s domestic registered pension plans as at January 1, 2014 was $89 million whereas the solvency deficit at January 1, 2013 was $3.7 billion. The elimination of the $3.7 billion deficit and the surplus generated were largely the result of the following factors: (i) a 13.8 per cent return on investments during 2013, (ii) the implementation of pension benefit amendments which decreased the solvency deficit by approximately $970 million, (iii) contributions made by Air Canada in respect of 2013 of $225 million in respect of the solvency deficit and (iv) the application of a prescribed discount rate of 3.9 per cent to calculate its future pension obligations. Refer to section 9.7 “Pension Funding Obligations” of Air Canada’s 2013 MD&A dated February 12, 2014 for additional information on Air Canada’s pension funding obligations.

Current Outlook

For the third quarter of 2014, Air Canada expects its system ASM capacity, as measured by available seat miles (ASMs), to increase in the range of 9.0 to 10.0 per cent when compared to the third quarter of 2013.

Air Canada now expects its full year 2014 system ASM capacity to increase in the range of 7.0 to 8.0 per cent (as opposed to the 6.5 to 8.0 per cent growth projected in Air Canada’s news release dated May 15, 2014) and its full year domestic ASM capacity to increase in the range of 4.0 to 5.0 per cent when compared to 2013 (as opposed to 3.0 to 4.0 per cent growth projected in Air Canada’s news release dated May 15, 2014). The projected system capacity increase is expected to be achieved at a unit cost which is below historical levels. The change in projected domestic ASM capacity is primarily driven by the use of larger aircraft on transcontinental routes in support of the airline’s international expansion strategy.

Air Canada expects the ASM capacity growth to be comprised of an increase in the total number of seats dispatched (system) in the third quarter and full year 2014 in the range of 6.5 to 7.5 per cent and 5.0 to 6.0 per cent, respectively, when compared to same periods in 2013.

For the third quarter of 2014, Air Canada expects adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 3.5 to 4.5 per cent when compared to the third quarter of 2013.

Taking into account Air Canada’s adjusted CASM performance in the second quarter of 2014, for the full year 2014, Air Canada now expects adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 3.2 to 4.2 per cent from the full year 2013 (as opposed to the 3.0 to 4.0 per cent decrease projected in Air Canada’s news release dated May 15, 2014).

Air Canada’s outlook assumes Canadian GDP growth of 2.0 to 2.5 per cent for 2014. Air Canada also expects that the Canadian dollar will trade, on average, at C$1.08 per U.S. dollar in the third quarter of 2014 and C$1.09 for the full year 2014 and that the price of jet fuel will average 90 cents per litre for the third quarter of 2014 and 91 cents per litre for the full year 2014.

Notes:

1) Adjusted net income (loss) and adjusted net income (loss) per share – diluted are non-GAAP financial measures. Refer to section 16 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(2) EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and aircraft rent) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 16 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(3) Unrestricted liquidity refers to the sum of cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and the amount of available credit under Air Canada’s revolving credit facilities. At June 30, 2014, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash and short-term investments of $2,615 million and undrawn lines of credit of $339 million. At June 30, 2013, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash and short-term investments of $2,107 million and undrawn lines of credit of $32 million.
(4) Free cash flow (cash flows from operating activities less additions to property, equipment and intangible assets) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 7.5 “Consolidated Cash Flow Movements” of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(5) Adjusted net debt (total debt less cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments plus capitalized operating leases) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 7.3 “Adjusted Net Debt” of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(6) Return on invested capital (“ROIC”) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 16 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information
(7) Operating statistics (except for average number of FTE employees) include third party carriers (such as Jazz Aviation LP (“Jazz”) and Sky Regional Airlines Inc. (“Sky Regional”) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
(8) Adjusted CASM is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 16 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(9) Reflects FTE employees at Air Canada. Excludes FTE employees at third party carriers (such as Jazz and Sky Regional) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
(10) Average stage length is calculated by dividing the total number of available seat miles by the total number of seats dispatched.
(11) Includes fuel handling expenses. Economic fuel price per litre is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to sections 4 and 5 “Results of Operations” of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(12) Revenue passengers are counted on a flight number basis which is consistent with the IATA definition of revenue passengers carried.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 C-GHPQ (msn 35257) departs from the Toronto (Pearson) hub.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Air Canada to deploy the Boeing 787 on the Vancouver-Tokyo Narita route

Air Canada (Montreal) will start a second Boeing 787 daily route from Vancouver to Tokyo (Narita) on December 15 per Airline Route. The 787 will replace a 767 on the route.

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 C-GHPQ (msn 35257) lands in Zurich.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

 

Air Canada operates its first Boeing 787 revenue flight

Air Canada Flt AC 604 787 5.23.14 (Air Canada)(LRW)

Air Canada (Montreal) on May 23 operated its first revenue flight with newly delivered Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner C-GHPQ (msn 35257). The historic flight was flight AC 604 from Toronto (Pearson) to Halifax.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Top Copyright Photo: Air Canada. Scenes from the first flight departure gate in YYZ.

Below Copyright Photo: Air Canada. C-GHPQ is pictured departing previously.

Air Canada 787-8 C-GHPQ (04)(Tko)(Air Canada)(LRW)

Video: 787 Born to fly:

Video: 787 Introduction:

Bottom Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. A view from inside C-GHPQ during the historic first revenue flight.

Air Canada 787-8 C-GHPQ window (TMK)(LRW)

 

Air Canada takes delivery of its first Boeing 787, 787-8 C-GHPQ lands in Toronto

Air Canada Flight AC7008

Air Canada (Montreal) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday (May 18) celebrated the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner, the first airline in Canada to fly the Dreamliner. The pictured Boeing 787-8 C-GHPQ (msn 35257), the first of Air Canada’s 37 787s on order for delivery through 2019, departed Paine Field in Everett, Washington yesterday on its delivery flight to Toronto (Pearson).

Air Canada has announced it will use the 787 on its Toronto-Tel Aviv routes, as well as launch a new destination – Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The 787 is 20 percent more fuel efficient than similar-sized airplanes it will replace in Air Canada’s fleet.

Air Canada’s 787 launches the airlines’ new International Business Class Cabin with 20 seats. The airplane offers 21 seats in Air Canada’s Premium Economy Cabin and 210 seats in Air Canada Economy. Customers will be more comfortable with improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced ventilation systems, among other features.

Made from composite materials, the 787 Dreamliner is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying long-range routes and will allow airlines to open new, non-stop routes preferred by the traveling public. In addition to providing airlines with unprecedented fuel economy and low operating costs, the 787 features a host of new technologies that greatly enhance the passenger experience.

To support Air Canada’s 787 Dreamliners, Boeing will provide a comprehensive suite of support and services through its Commercial Aviation Services business. Air Canada will receive flight and maintenance training and in-flight pilot training services. Boeing provides Air Canada’s fleet with crew planning solutions; electronic charting for electronic flight bags; Maintenance Performance Toolbox, a digital real-time-information tool that enables quick resolution of airplane maintenance issues; and Direct Routes and Wind Updates services for more efficient flights to reduce fuel consumption.

Besides the announced Tel Aviv and Tokyo Haneda (above), AC will also operate the new 787 on some shorter routes as it “breaks in” the new type and then expands to longer routes. Toronto-Halifax will be operated starting on May 23 on certain initial dates. Toronto-Zurich will be operated from May 25 to July 14 per Airline Route. Toronto-London (Heathrow) will operate five days a week from July 2 to July 13.

The planned Toronto-Tokyo (Haneda) will now start on July 15. The planned Toronto-Tel Aviv will now start on August 6.

The new type will also operate from Vancouver to Shanghai (Pudong) starting on October 26 and Toronto-Paris (CDG) starting on December 1 (all subject to change as the aircraft are delivered).

Copyright Photo: PRNews Foto/Air Canada. Boeing 787-8 C-GHPQ touches down in Toronto (Toronto) on the afternoon of May 18 as flight AC 7008  carrying 100 of the airline’s employees on its maiden voyage. Air Canada is the first Canadian airline to fly the new aircraft which, with its long-range and unsurpassed fuel efficiency, will play a starring role in the airline’s international expansion strategy. Air Canada has orders for 37 Boeing 787 aircraft.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Video: C-GHPQ arrives at YYZ:

 

Air Canada reports first quarter earnings of $147 million, the first Boeing 787-8 to be handed over on May 18

Air Canada (Montreal) today (May 15) issued its financial results for the first quarter. The company issued this statement (all amounts in Canadian dollars):

Air Canada today reported first quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment, and aircraft rent (EBITDAR (1)) of $147 million compared to EBITDAR of $145 million in the first quarter of 2013. Air Canada’s EBITDAR of $147 million was consistent with the EBITDAR projection provided in the airline’s news release dated April 3, 2014 which forecasted EBITDAR in the first quarter of 2014 to be in line with last year’s level. An operating loss of $62 million in the first quarter of 2014 reflected a $44 million improvement from the same quarter in 2013. On a GAAP basis, in the first quarter of 2014, Air Canada reported a net loss of $341 million or $1.20 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $260 million or $0.95 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013. The net loss in the first quarter of 2014 included foreign exchange losses of $161 million versus foreign exchange losses of $40 million in the first quarter of 2013. On an adjusted basis(1), the airline reported a net loss of $132 million or $0.46 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $143 million or $0.52 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013, an improvement of $11 million or $0.06 per diluted share.

“I am pleased to report that despite the challenges of several extreme weather events and the impact of a much lower Canadian dollar in the first quarter, we delivered improved EBITDAR and adjusted results over the previous year,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer. During this somewhat difficult quarter, we continued to make good progress on our cost transformation initiatives with adjusted CASM decreasing by 2.5 per cent and, nonetheless, achieved a solid revenue performance. Based on forward bookings, we expect a strong summer travel season ahead.

“As we enter a new phase of network growth and capital investment in our fleet and product, the successful completion of our unsecured notes offering in April was another important milestone for Air Canada. I was especially pleased with the offering’s reception. The capital markets demonstrated their confidence in our future by supporting our debt on an unsecured basis on very competitive terms, recognizing, among other things, our improved leverage ratios, credit ratings and profitability, as well as the elimination of our pension deficit.

“We have many exciting developments coming up with respect to our fleet and we are now starting to reap the benefits of our significant capital investment program. We look forward to the delivery flight of our first of 37 Boeing 787 Dreamliners on May 18, a very important step in Air Canada’s fleet renewal that will provide further cost improvements and opportunities to develop international markets on a more competitive basis.

“Moreover, in order to improve the economics of our standard Boeing 777 long-haul fleet and to provide customers with a consistent product to our new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, we are planning on converting 12 Boeing 777-300 ER and six Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft into a more competitive configuration, adding a much desired premium economy cabin and refurbishing the International Business Class cabin to the new Boeing 787 state-of-the-art standards. The reconfiguration is designed to both lower unit costs and to allow us to compete more effectively with a harmonized product offering across our flagship international fleet. The reconfiguration project is planned to start in late 2015 and be completed in the second half of 2016.

“I would like to thank our employees for their ongoing focus on taking care of customers and transporting them safely to their destination, especially during the very challenging weather conditions we experienced in the first quarter.”

First Quarter Income Statement Highlights

System passenger revenues amounted to $2,608 million, an increase of $81 million or 3.2 per cent from the first quarter of 2013, on a 2.9 per cent growth in traffic and a 0.4 per cent improvement in yield. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) decreased 0.5 per cent from the same quarter in 2013 on a 0.7 percentage point decline in passenger load factor which was partly offset by the yield improvement. In the first quarter of 2014, system premium cabin revenues increased $37 million or 7.0 per cent on yield and traffic growth of 4.5 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively.

Operating expenses amounted to $3,127 million, an increase of $69 million or 2 per cent from the first quarter of 2013 on a 3.8 per cent increase in capacity. The unfavourable impact of a weaker Canadian dollar on foreign currency denominated operating expenses (mainly U.S. dollars), when compared to same quarter in 2013, increased operating expenses by $130 million. This currency impact was partially offset by a favourable currency impact on passenger revenues of $38 million, realized currency derivative gains of $23 million and lower fuel prices (in U.S. dollars).

Air Canada’s adjusted cost per available seat mile (adjusted CASM(1)), which excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items, decreased 2.5 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2013. The 2.5 per cent reduction in adjusted CASM was in line with the adjusted CASM decrease of 2.0 to 2.5 per cent projected in Air Canada’s news release dated April 3, 2014.

In the first quarter of 2014, Air Canada recorded an operating loss of $62 million compared to an operating loss of $106 million in the first quarter of 2013, an improvement of $44 million.

Financial and Capital Management Highlights

At March 31, 2014, unrestricted liquidity (cash, short-term investments and undrawn lines of credit) amounted to $2,515 million (March 31, 2013 – $2,092 million). Air Canada’s principal objective in managing liquidity risk is to maintain a minimum unrestricted liquidity level of $1.7 billion.

At March 31, 2014, adjusted net debt(1) amounted to $4,426 million, an increase of $75 million from December 31, 2013. The increase in adjusted net debt was driven by net borrowings of $116 million and an unfavourable currency impact of $155 million, partly offset by higher cash balances of $182 million. The airline’s adjusted net debt to EBITDAR ratio was 3.1 at March 31, 2014 versus a ratio 3.0 at December 31, 2013. Air Canada uses this ratio to manage its financial leverage risk and its objective is to maintain the ratio below 3.5.

Free cash flow(1) of $34 million declined $113 million from the same quarter in 2013. While operating cash flows improved year-over year, free cash flow was impacted by the addition of the fifth and final Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft delivered in February 2014.

For the 12 months ended March 31, 2014, return on invested capital (ROIC (1)) was 10.7 per cent versus 8.0 per cent at March 31, 2013. Air Canada’s goal is to achieve a sustainable ROIC of 10 to 13 per cent by 2015.

Current Outlook

For the second quarter of 2014, Air Canada expects its system ASM capacity, as measured by available seat miles (ASMs), to increase in the range of 7.5 to 8.5 per cent when compared to the second quarter of 2013.

Air Canada continues to expect its full year 2014 system ASM capacity to increase in the range of 6.5 to 8.0 per cent and its full year domestic ASM capacity to increase in the range of 3.0 to 4.0 per cent when compared to 2013. The domestic capacity growth will be primarily on transcontinental services. The projected system capacity increase will be achieved at a unit cost which is below historical levels.

For the second quarter of 2014, Air Canada expects adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 3.5 to 4.5 per cent when compared to the second quarter of 2013.

For the full year 2014, Air Canada now expects adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 3.0 to 4.0 per cent from the full year 2013 (as opposed to the 2.5 to 3.5 per cent decrease projected in Air Canada’s news release dated April 3, 2014). This expected improvement is largely due to lower aircraft maintenance and depreciation, amortization and impairment expenses than previously projected.

Air Canada is taking tangible steps to improve its earnings through the execution of strategic initiatives designed to lower its overall cost structure and increase its competitiveness. These include:

The growth of Air Canada rouge to enhance margins in leisure markets and to pursue opportunities in international leisure markets made viable by Air Canada rouge’s lower cost structure.

The introduction five new high-density Boeing 777 aircraft configured for high volume, leisure-oriented international routes.

The introduction of Boeing 787 aircraft to operate existing Boeing 767 routes in a more efficient manner and to pursue international growth opportunities made viable by this aircraft’s lower operating costs.

Other ongoing cost reduction initiatives which are expected to deliver cost savings in excess of $100 million per annum within the next five years. Had these initiatives been implemented today with all other cost drivers remaining at 2012 levels, Air Canada would expect to achieve a 15 per cent reduction in CASM within the next five years. Also assuming the value of the Canadian dollar and fuel prices were at 2012 levels, the projected CASM reduction for 2014 would be 5 to 6 per cent.

With respect to Air Canada’s narrow-body fleet, as part of its December 2013 Boeing 737 MAX order for 61 firm aircraft, 18 options and certain rights to purchase an additional 30 aircraft, Boeing agreed to purchase 20 Embraer 190 aircraft. These 20 Embraer 190 aircraft are planned to exit the fleet in the second half of 2015 when they will be initially replaced with 10 larger narrow-body leased aircraft. The replacement of these Embraer 190 aircraft with larger narrow-body aircraft will further reduce CASM. Ultimately, the 10 larger narrow-body leased aircraft will be replaced by Boeing 737 MAX aircraft which will also further lower CASM. With respect to the remaining 25 Embraer 190 aircraft in the airline’s fleet, after careful consideration, Air Canada has decided to continue to operate the aircraft given their young age, productivity and high customer acceptance on existing routes and to avoid additional capital expenditures and debt.

Air Canada’s outlook assumes Canadian GDP growth of 2.0 to 3.0 per cent for 2014. Air Canada also expects that the Canadian dollar will trade, on average, at C$1.10 per U.S. dollar in the second quarter of 2014 and for the full year 2014 and that the price of jet fuel will average 91 cents per litre for the second quarter of 2014 and 92 cents per litre for the full year 2014.

Notes:

(1) Adjusted net income (loss) and adjusted net income (loss) per share – diluted are non-GAAP financial measures. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(2) EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and aircraft rent) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(3) Unrestricted liquidity refers to the sum of cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and the amount of available credit under Air Canada’s revolving credit facilities. At March 31, 2014, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash and short-term investments of $2,390 million and undrawn lines of credit of $125 million. At March 31, 2013, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash and short-term investments of $2,056 million and undrawn lines of credit of $36 million.
(4) Free cash flow (cash flows from operating activities less additions to property, equipment and intangible assets) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 6.5 of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(5) Adjusted net debt (total debt less cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments plus capitalized operating leases) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 6.3 of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(6) Return on invested capital (“ROIC”) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information
(7) Operating statistics (except for average number of FTE employees) include third party carriers (such as Jazz Aviation LP (“Jazz”) and Sky Regional Airlines Inc. (“Sky Regional”) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
(8) Adjusted CASM is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(9) Reflects FTE employees at Air Canada. Excludes FTE employees at third party carriers (such as Jazz and Sky Regional) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
(10) Includes fuel handling expenses. Economic fuel price per litre is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 4 “Results of Operations” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(11) Revenue passengers are counted on a flight number basis which is consistent with the IATA definition of revenue passengers carried.

In other news, Air Canada will add summer seasonal nonstop service on Mondays and Saturdays from July 5 to September 1, 2014, between Ottawa and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Florida.

Top Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Air Canada Boeing 787-8, the pictured C-GHPQ (msn 35257), will join the fleet on May 18.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Canada will keep the remaining 25 Embraer 190 aircraft for now, striking a blow to Bombardier and its CSeries aircraft. Air Canada has decided to “continue to operate the aircraft given their young age, productivity and high customer acceptance on existing routes and to avoid additional capital expenditures and debt”. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW C-FHNX (msn 19000083) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Air Canada gets ready to take delivery of the first Boeing 787-8

Air Canada (Montreal) first Boeing 787-8 (C-GHPQ, msn 35257) has been painted and is due to be delivered soon. The carrier is expected to introduce the new type domestically on May 1 between Toronto (Pearson) and Montreal (Trudeau) and will operate on select routes as the new type is introduced to the system (reportedly on select flights from Toronto to London Heathrow and Zurich). However the new type will be dedicated to the Toronto-Tokyo (Haneda) route starting on July 1 and the Toronto-Tel Aviv route also in July.

Read more about the new type: CLICK HERE

Video: Air Canada.