Air Canada revenue beats on border reopening, travel rebound

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FILE PHOTO: Airplanes at Toronto Pearson airport

-Air Canada reported a better-than-expected quarterly revenue on Tuesday, as Canada’s decision to open its borders to fully-vaccinated travelers and improving COVID-19 inoculation rates drove bookings at the country’s largest carrier.

North American airlines have reported upbeat results this quarter as vaccinated travelers, who have not seen friends and family for over a year, take to the skies. Canada’s decision to open its borders also benefited Air Canada, which generated net cash of C$153 million ($123.34 million) in the third quarter, compared with its earlier expectation of a net cash burn between C$280 million and C$460 million. “We are encouraged by the favourable revenue and traffic trends in the third quarter” Chief Executive Officer Michael Rousseau said in a statement. The company said it also augmented its fleet by reaching a pact with Boeing Co to accelerate delivery of four Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into the current quarter and will add two Airbus SE’s A220-300 aircraft in 2024.

Air Canada’s revenue rose to C$2.1 billion, beating analyst expectations of C$1.82 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data. The carrier’s net loss narrowed to C$640 million, or C$1.79 per share in the quarter, from C$685 million, or C$2.31 per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, Air Canada lost C$1.70 per share, missing expectations of a C$1.61 per share loss.

($1 = 1.2405 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)