Calgary Herald

Fewer fly with air Canada

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Air Canada said Wednesday it flew emptier planes in March and expects a key earnings measure to be flat through the first six months of the year.

“We expect (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciati­on and aircraft rent) levels for the first half of 2011 to be approximat­ely at the same level as the first half of 2010,” chief executive Calin Rovinescu said in a statement.

The forecast was similar to what had been expected, PI Financial analyst Chris Murray said, adding that third quarter was usually the airline’s strongest earnings period.

Murray said he was encouraged by Rovinescu’s statement that Air Canada was seeing advance bookings in all sectors, including the Atlantic and Pacific.

The country’s biggest airline also said traffic across its routes increased 4.2 per cent in March but was outflanked by a system-wide capacity increase of 7.6 per cent.

That resulted in a system load factor of 79.5 per cent, down from 82.1 per cent in March 2010.

“First-quarter traffic data was slightly weaker than what I was looking for,” Murray said, blaming a drop in February, which was weaker than a year ago when the Vancouver Winter Olympics fuelled traffic numbers.

 ?? Calgary Herald Archive ?? air Canada said it expects flat earnings in March.
Calgary Herald Archive air Canada said it expects flat earnings in March.

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