Business

Air Canada earnings show demand for travel is returning — but slowly

Air Canada reported improving but still big losses in the second quarter as travel demand started to rise.

Revenue surged to $837 million but airline still lost $1.17 billion

Air Canada lost more than $1 billion in the quarter, despite seeing an uptick in revenue. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Air Canada reported improving but still big losses in the second quarter as travel demand started to rise.

The Montreal-based company says it lost $1.17 billion or $3.31 per diluted share, compared with a loss of $1.75 billion or $6.44 per share a year earlier.

Adjusted profits were $1.08 billion or $3.03 per share.

Revenues during the three months ended June 30 surged 58.8 per cent to $837 million from $527 million in the second quarter of 2020.

Air Canada was expected to post $2.76 per share in adjusted profits on $848.2 million of revenues, according to financial data firm Refitinitv.

The country's largest airline increased its seat capacity by 78 per cent, compared with the prior year's quarter when capacity was reduced by 86 per cent from the second quarter of 2019. It plans to increase available seat miles 85 per cent in the third quarter.

"We are pleased to see vaccination rates increasing and more recent science-based easing of travel restrictions in Canada," CEO Michael Rousseau said.

"The elimination of the quarantine period for fully vaccinated returning Canadians and the removal of other travel restrictions announced in June led to a significant increase in bookings. We expect this trend to further increase following the July 19th announcement communicating positive changes to come for Canadian travel restrictions."

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