Air Canada posts first profit in four years

February 11th, 2011 - 1:22 pm ICT by IANS  

By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, Feb 11 (IANS) Air Canada Thursday reported its first profit since 2007, posting a net income of $107 million for 2010 as well as the highest load factor in its history.The revival comes after the country’s national carrier reported a net loss of $24 million in 2008 and $1 billion in 2008 at the peak of the global meltdown.

The Montreal-based airline’s income of $361 million for 2010 shows a huge improvement over its $316-million loss in 2009.

“I am extremely pleased to report these very strong results for the fourth quarter and full year 2010, including the highest EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and rent) in Air Canada’s history,” said Air Canada president and CEO Calin Rovinescu in a statement.

“We had a great year, especially considering where we were just one year ago, and I am very proud of the company’s achievements. I want to thank Air Canada’s employees for their dedication and hard work to build a stronger, more sustainable Air Canada,” he said.

The management awarded shares worth $500 to each employee after the positive results.

The Air Canada boss said the airline’s full-year load factor of 81.7 percent was the highest in its history.

“All new routes performed well as we leveraged our international network via our Canadian hubs, in cooperation with our Star Alliance and A++ joint venture partners,” he said.

Amid its revival, Air Canada was also named the Best Airline in North America by Skytrax.

The airline had to seek bankruptcy protection in 2003 as the worldwide aviation industry collapsed after 9/11. But it came out of bankruptcy protection within 18 months.

Another bankruptcy protection stared it in 2009 at the height of the current global crisis, but Air Canada emerged unscathed by negotiating cuts with unions.

The airline is poised to resume its direct flights to India - stopped in 2007 - after it acquires long-haul Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at gurmukh.s@ians.in)

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