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Old February 1st, 2005, 05:47 PM   #41
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how could air canada launch new flights when they're almost bankrupt? Last time i went on it, they even reduced to having to buy meals!
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Old February 1st, 2005, 06:40 PM   #42
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Global airline industry sees profits on horizon
Restructured Air Canada flying ahead of the pack Carriers looking to first cumulative profit since 9/11

Kevin McGran
Toronto Star
1 February 2005

Air Canada has a two-year head start on the rest of the world's international airlines as forecasters predict the global industry is heading toward its first cumulative post-9/11 profit in 2005 after suffering through another year of massive losses.

The global industry lost $4.8 billion (U.S.) last year and has lost $35 billion since the terrorist strikes in the United States. It has recaptured lost business, but experts say all the major airlines need to get their costs in line the way Air Canada has.

"The world's legacy carriers haven't made the cuts anywhere near as quickly as Air Canada has," Calgary-based airline analyst Rick Erickson said. "Air Canada has a two-year lead on most of the world's major carriers. They have to restructure to have any hope for success."

Erickson said Air Canada, which shed debt and reworked union contracts in its two-year restructuring process, is ripe for takeoff in international traffic and in taking on low-cost rivals like WestJet. American carriers like Delta and US Airways are beginning to go through cost-cutting and labour talks.

"I think our prospects here are better because our low-cost operators are lean and mean on the cost side and our legacy carrier has restructured with a very strong business plan and wonderful international growth opportunity," said Erickson.

Air Canada's international growth is a big reason that Toronto Pearson International Airport saw a 15 per cent increase in the number of passengers using the airport last year. In fact, with 28.6 million people using the three terminals in 2004, Pearson is within a whisker of its peak volume of 28.9 million in 2000.

"We're very pleased," said Connie Turner, spokeswoman for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. "I think our numbers were significantly impacted by the effect of 9/11 and SARS. It's better now for the airlines and it's better for us."

The International Air Transport Association yesterday forecast an industry-wide profit of $1.2 billion for 2005. But profitability hinges on annual growth of 6 per cent, an average price of $34 per barrel for crude oil and improved cost efficiency, said IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani.

"The challenge for 2005 is to turn traffic growth into profitability with improved cost efficiency across the industry's value chain," Bisignani told a meeting of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization in Maastricht, Netherlands.

IATA represents 270 of the world's major airlines. The price of oil, which hit $57 a barrel last autumn, ate into profit in 2004, with IATA saying the industry ended the year with an estimated loss of $4.8 billion despite all regions reporting double-digit, year-over-year passenger and cargo growth.

Erickson agreed that international traffic is recovering but added IATA's forecasts shouldn't be so rosy, especially when it comes to the price of oil, which accounts for up to 30 per cent of an airline's costs.

"It's solidified, but the great bogeyman remains oil. I don't know where they're getting their forecasts. I'm in the oil capital of Canada and I don't think 34 (dollars per barrel) is the right number. I think it's closer to 40. We won't see the $55, $57 a barrel we saw in November. But ... there's no control. The international aviation arena is a volatile place."

He said Air Canada is an ideal carrier for passengers who are "transiting" through North America, en route, for example, between South America and Asia. The U.S. requires most passengers to carry visas even if only touching down in an airport to transfer planes. Canada's requirements are looser, opening up a market for Air Canada.

Domestically, Canada's low-cost air carriers are in for a "skinny" year, says Erickson, beginning in July when Air Canada takes possession of the first of 15 regional jets from Brazilian jet maker Embraer.

Those jets will allow Air Canada to introduce its transcontinental service to smaller communities, edging in on WestJet's market, with the winner ultimately being passengers able to cash in on cheap flights.

Neither Air Canada nor WestJet, the nation's Number 2 carrier, has announced year-end results. Air Canada's parent, ACE Aviation Holdings Inc., reported an $81 million (Canadian) loss in the third quarter, citing $313 million for restructuring. Passenger traffic climbed 11 per cent from a year earlier.

270234-186899.jpg | Dick Loek toronto star file photo Air Canada aircraft taxi along the tarmac at Pearson International Airport. After emerging from bankruptcy protection, Canada's flag carrier has about a two-year lead on its international competitors and will soon have an advantage over its domestic rivals, says analyst Rick Erickson.
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 05:51 PM   #43
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Air Canada shops around for 767 replacement
01 February 2005
The Globe and Mail

Air Canada is considering either the Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner or the Airbus A350 as the wide-body aircraft to eventually replace its fleet of aging Boeing 767s. Once Montreal-based Air Canada picks the replacement model, it will set the wheels in motion to order new aircraft for gradual delivery starting in 2010, spokeswoman Laura Cooke said yesterday. Canada's flag carrier had 42 Boeing 767s in its international fleet at the end of last year.
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 10:46 AM   #44
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Air Canada expands its fleet

By Bernard Simon
Published: January 31 2005 02:00 | Last updated: January 31 2005 02:00

Air Canada plans to order about 50 wide-body aircraft later this year for its expanding international network, writes Bernard Simon.


The Montreal-based carrier, which emerged from a court-supervised restructuring last October, is one of the few traditional North American airlines replenishing its fleet. While most US carriers remain in deep financial difficulty, Air Canada is forecasting an operating profit of about C$1.6bn (US$1.28bn) this year.

The Canadian carrier used the restructuring to cut its debt from C$12bn to C$4bn, and to raise C$1.1bn in new equity. With the bulk of its debt and lease obligations denominated in US dollars, Air Canada has also benefited from a sharp rise in the Canadian dollar.

Robert Milton, chief executive, said the airline was likely to order either the Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner or the Airbus A-350, each with a capacity of about 250 passengers. The new aircraft will replace an ageing fleet of wide-body Boeing 767s.

The 7E7 is due to enter service in 2008. Airbus's shareholders gave the go-ahead for the A-350 last month, with a target introduction date of 2010.

Air Canada is already bumping into capacity constraints as it expands its international services, especially to Asia and Latin America.

It has recently brought two mothballed 767s back into service and is leasing several used 767s and long-range Airbus A-340s.

The carrier will also start taking delivery later this year of 105 Embraer and Bombardier regional jets to improve flexibility.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 06:18 AM   #45
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Air Canada January Traffic Improves

February 3, 2005

Air Canada flew fuller planes in January than a year earlier, the airline said on Thursday.

Air Canada, the country's major carrier, said its January traffic, measured by revenue passenger miles, rose 6.2 percent on a 1.5 percent decline in capacity from a year earlier.

Its passenger load factor rose 5.7 percentage points to 77.7 percent from 72 percent in January 2004 and was at its highest level on record for the month.

Montreal-based Air Canada, the operating arm of ACE Aviation;, said January was the 10th straight record month for its load factor. The airline emerged at the end of September from 18 months of bankruptcy protection, with a much lighter debt load, some 10,000 fewer workers and pared back aircraft capacity.

(Reuters)
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Old February 4th, 2005, 06:20 AM   #46
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Air Canada eliminates rates for bereaved traveIlers; offers discount rates

Nelson Wyatt
Canadian Press

February 3, 2005


MONTREAL (CP) - Air Canada has phased-out special rates for bereaved travellers due to low demand in favour of cheaper and more simplified fares, the airline said Thursday.

The move didn't impress competitor WestJet, which called it "insensitive," or lobby group Transport 2000. But it's supported by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, which said the impact on travellers will be minimal. Isabelle Arthur, an Air Canada spokeswoman, said the new system is better and easier for consumers.

"We were getting less and less and less requests for these special fares," she said. "People in special circumstances would just go on the Web and book because they saw it was a lower fare than what would be offered as a bereavement (fare) and it had more flexibility," she said.

The previous system was gradually dropped in fare restructuring announced in 2003. Bereavement fares ended on Jan. 31.

Under the old system, mourners received 75 per cent off the price of their ticket and had to buy a return ticket with set dates.

"Now with our simplified low-fare structure, we have lower fares than the previous discounts did, more flexibility because the customer can buy just a one-way (ticket) because maybe they're not sure when they're coming back, this at all times right up to the date of departure."

The reduced rates, which are only for domestic flights, also apply when the traveller returns.

Arthur said a few travellers have complained they didn't get the low fares in some communities when they had an illness or death in the family and the airline is looking their cases.

"We will ensure there is consistency across the network."

The new fare system will be extended "in the near future" to international travellers, who will book under the old system until the new one is implemented, Arthur said.

The new structure didn't impress Calgary-based WestJet. It has no plans to eliminate its bereavement fare. The carrier offers bereaved travellers between 30 and 50 per cent off the full walk-up fare.

Don Bell, WestJet's executive vice-president of guest services, said customers have told the airline they appreciate the special fare.

"The seat sale price might be cheaper than the bereavement fare or as cheap, but we'd always offer the lowest fare," he said. "As we move closer to the summer and the high travel period, those fares may go up but we'll still maintain our bereavement fares."

Bell said he didn't understand Air Canada's decision.

"They have their business to run. I don't quite understand their logic. It seems a little insensitive. It doesn't seem like the right thing to do."

David Jeanes of Transport 2000 the cheap seats sell quickly on popular routes and might not be readily available to bereaved travellers.

"These seats are strictly limited inventory and certainly on popular routes they're sold out well in advance," he said.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 06:25 AM   #47
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Air Canada reports best-ever January load factor: 77.7% of seats filled

Canadian Press

February 3, 2005


MONTREAL (CP) - Air Canada reported Thursday that 77.7 per cent of its seats were filled with paying passengers in January, up from a load factor of 72 per cent in the same month last year.

The airline said it was the highest load factor it has ever recorded in a January. Air Canada (TSX:ACE.RV), after downsizing under a court-supervised restructuring, said its overall capacity was 1.5 per cent less than in January 2004. But it flew 6.2 per cent more revenue passenger miles, according to preliminary figures.

It was the 10th consecutive month that Air Canada has posted a record load factor.

In the domestic market, Air Canada said capacity decreased 6.3 per cent while traffic increased 3.4 per cent, resulting in a load factor within Canada of 76.0 per cent, an improvement of 7.2 percentage points from a year earlier.

The Jazz regional subsidiary had a load factor of 67 per cent, up 13.2 points, as it cut capacity by 2.7 per cent but flew 21 per cent more revenue passenger miles.

Flights to and from the United States showed a load factor of 72.8 per cent, up from 64.2, while the transatlantic load factor jumped to 80.2 per cent from 72.7 per cent.

On Pacific flights - the only category aside from "other and charter" where Air Canada raised capacity, with a 2.3 per cent increase in available seat miles - the load factor edged up to 83.5 per cent from 83.2.

Other and charter capacity was boosted 22.2 per cent and revenue passenger miles grew 23.4 per cent, for a load factor of 77.2 per cent, up from 76.4.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 10:20 AM   #48
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Hey, is this just a news thread or can we actually talk about the airline to start bashing it? Air Canada SUCKS!!!! WESTJET ROCKS!!!!!
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Old February 5th, 2005, 05:25 AM   #49
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Can talk whatever U like here man
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Old February 6th, 2005, 02:25 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally
Hey, is this just a news thread or can we actually talk about the airline to start bashing it? Air Canada SUCKS!!!! WESTJET ROCKS!!!!!
Hey dude - I fully agree with you, however, AC still offers the business travellers some good stuff Westjet doesn't...a lounge, and points (I know Westjet has Air Miles now - but still not as good).

I fly every week, and (dammit) I still fly AC - despite terrible service (their worst problem...the same agents STILL don't seem to recognize me - or at least acknowledge it), the lounges are very cool and the Aeroplan points get you free flights fast.

I tried flying Westjet for a month or two early last year (likely out of guilt, since I live in Calgary). Despite way nicer staff, Westjet needs to get those satellite TV's in their seatbacks quickly (as the flight attendants were saying on those flights), finish getting rid of ALL those crappy 737-200s (or reconfigure them...no leg room), and allow for pre-selecting seats (I can't handle getting middle seats).

I really hoped AC would just die - or at least fire Milton, since I firmly believe its his direction that got AC to this position.

BTW - the flights are noticeably fuller from a year/year-and-a-half ago.
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Old February 6th, 2005, 02:45 AM   #51
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Air Canada Reports Tenth Consecutive Month of Record Load Factor in January

- Domestic passenger load factor at 76.0% - highest ever for January
- System passenger load factor at 77.7% - highest ever for January

Data : http://micro.newswire.ca/release.cgi...3213-0&Start=0

MONTREAL, Feb. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada reported a system load factor of 77.7 percent in January 2005, the highest ever for January. The mainline carrier flew 6.2 percent more revenue passenger miles (RPMs) in January 2005 than in January 2004, according to preliminary traffic figures. Overall, capacity decreased by 1.5 percent, resulting in a load factor of 77.7 percent, compared to 72.0 percent in January 2004; an increase of 5.7 percentage points. In the domestic market, capacity decreased by 6.3 percent while traffic increased 3.4 percent resulting in a domestic load factor of 76.0 percent - a 7.2 percentage point increase year over year.

Jazz, Air Canada's regional airline subsidiary, flew 21.0 percent more revenue passenger miles in January 2005 than in January 2004, according to preliminary traffic figures. Capacity decreased by 2.7 percent, resulting in a load factor of 67.0 percent, compared to 53.8 percent in January 2004; an increase of 13.2 percentage points.

"All of us at Air Canada are proud to begin 2005 with another record load factor, the tenth consecutive record month. Traffic rose a very strong 6.2 percent on 1.5 percent lower capacity with this reduction entirely centered within North America," said Montie Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Particularly gratifying is the domestic load factor for January of 76.0 percent, 7.2 percentage points above last year and also
another record. The continuing strong growth in domestic traffic further confirms the positive consumer response to Air Canada's new fare products which allow customers to choose the fare that best suits their needs. We are clearly the airline of choice with the lowest fares to the greatest number of destinations on an everyday basis."
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Old February 7th, 2005, 08:25 AM   #52
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Air Canada drops funeral fares

The airline says a new system will be better and easier on consumers.


CP 2005-02-04 02:07:29


MONTREAL -- Air Canada has phased out special rates for bereaved travellers due to low demand in favour of cheaper and more simplified fares, the airline said yesterday. The move didn't impress competitor WestJet, which called it "insensitive," or lobby group Transport 2000. But it is supported by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, which said the impact on travellers will be minimal.

Isabelle Arthur, speaking for Air Canada, said the new system is better and easier for consumers.

"We were getting less and less and less requests for these special fares," she said.

"People in special circumstances would just go on the Web and book because they saw it was a lower fare than what would be offered as a bereavement (fare) and it had more flexibility."

The previous system was gradually dropped in fare restructuring announced in 2003. Bereavement fares ended on Jan. 31.

Under the old system, mourners received 75 per cent off the price of their ticket and had to buy a return ticket with set dates.

"Now with our simplified low-fare structure, we have lower fares than the previous discounts did, more flexibility because the customer can buy just a one-way (ticket) because maybe they're not sure when they're coming back, this at all times right up to the date of departure."

The reduced rates, which are only for domestic flights, also apply when the traveller returns.

Arthur said a few travellers have complained they didn't get the low fares in some communities when they had an illness or death in the family and the airline is looking their cases.

"We will ensure there is consistency across the network."

The new fare system will be extended "in the near future" to international travellers, who will book under the old system until the new one is implemented, Arthur said.

Meanwhile, Air Canada reported yesterday that 77.7 per cent of its seats were filled with paying passengers in January, up from a load factor of 72 per cent in the same month last year.

The airline said it was the highest load factor it has ever recorded in a January.
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Old February 7th, 2005, 08:27 AM   #53
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Air Canada to benefit from U.S. visa requirement: analyst


Last Updated Sun, 06 Feb 2005 14:43:42 EST
CBC News

CALGARY - A U.S. anti-terrorism measure could provide a big gain for Air Canada, an airline analyst says.

The U.S. now requires travellers who change planes in the U.S. to get a visa, even if they don't leave the airport, says Rick Erickson, an independent Calgary-based analyst.

But travellers en route between Asia, Europe and South America who might transfer in the U.S. are now looking at Canada, where there is no comparable requirement.

That could be worth up to $350 million US for Air Canada, and even more if international flyers break their trip to spend a few days in Toronto or Vancouver, he said.

Air Canada is extending its routes in Latin America and to Asia, partly to take advantage of the U.S. visa requirement.

The airline announced a 16 per cent increase in China-Canada seat capacity in January.

"Combined with our major expansion of services throughout Latin America, also via our Toronto hub, Air Canada offers international travellers between Asia and South America the added convenience of avoiding U.S. transit visa requirements," president and CEO Montie Brewer said at the time.

For some travellers, changing planes in Vancouver or Toronto could replace making connections in Los Angeles or New York.
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Old February 7th, 2005, 08:31 AM   #54
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Air Canada Flies Fuller Planes in January


Thu February 3, 2005 5:09 PM GMT-05:00

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Air Canada flew fuller planes in January than a year earlier, the airline said on Thursday.

Air Canada, the country's major carrier, said its January traffic, measured by revenue passenger miles, rose 6.2 percent on a 1.5 percent decline in capacity from a year earlier.

Its passenger load factor, which gauges the average number of seats sold as a proportion of those available, rose 5.7 percentage points to 77.7 percent from 72 percent in January 2004 and was at its highest level on record for the month.

Montreal-based Air Canada, the operating arm of ACE Aviation Holdings Inc., said January was the 10th straight record month for its load factor. The airline emerged at the end of September from 18 months of bankruptcy protection, with a much lighter debt load, some 10,000 fewer workers and pared back aircraft capacity.

ACE Aviation's restricted voting shares fell 10 Canadian cents to C$33.50 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday
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Old February 7th, 2005, 05:35 PM   #55
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New PR fiasco for Air Canada
Pilots' union lodges complaint over CEO's 'malicious' book
Airline says it will fight charge if regulator hears complaint

Rick Westhead
Toronto Star
7 February 2005

The union representing Air Canada's pilots has lodged a complaint against the airline with the Canada Industrial Relations Board, accusing chief executive Robert Milton of writing "malicious inaccuracies" about the union's executives in a recently-published book.

The Air Canada Pilots Association, which represents 3,000 of the carrier's pilots, contends that in Straight From the Top: The Truth About Air Canada, which was published last October, Milton was overly critical of the union's leadership during a 1998 two-week strike that cost the airline $250 million and later in negotiations to wring savings from Air Canada's unions.

The pilots lodged their complaint last week, sources told the Star.

The complaint marks the latest public relations fiasco for Milton and the airline's executives, who once more find themselves at odds with one of their most powerful unions less than six months after emerging from bankruptcy protection.

A spokesperson for the industrial relations board said it would take several weeks for the regulator to decide whether to hear the complaint, filed last week in Ottawa.

While the board doesn't have the ability to fine Air Canada, it could issue a cease-and-desist order aimed at preventing Milton from making any further derogatory comments about the pilots' union or its members.

Union president Kent Wilson said in an interview that Milton wrote "inaccuracies that were incorrect and malicious" about the pilots' union and that he had called into question "the integrity of ACPA's leadership." Some passages in the book are an effort by Milton to create division between the union's executives and its members, Wilson said.

An Air Canada spokesperson said the complaint was without merit and that the airline would fight the charge.

The union is expected to hold a conference call this morning to tell its members about its decision to file a complaint with the industrial relations board.

In his 257-page book, which details Onex Corp.'s failed takeover of Air Canada and Air Canada's search for a financier to provide money to help the carrier emerge from bankruptcy protection, Milton refers to Air Canada's two-week pilots' strike in 1998 as a "major calamity."

"Too often, reasonable arguments by management were spun into outrageous and untenable positions when passed on to union members, often by leaders who retained their position through acclamation and were disconnected from the concerns of both management and employees," Milton wrote about labour relations.

In 1998, "our pilots were being represented by their newly formed union, ACPA," Milton wrote. "ACPA was formed by our pilots for the right reasons, including improving the relationship with the company and being more of a grassroots organization that better listened to and represented its members. Looking back on that period, I think the relative 'newness' and inexperience of the leaders of the new union worked against us all ... The strike revealed the manner in which union leaders can and often do employ their own personal agenda to sway the operations of an entire company."

One specific anecdote that has ACPA executive bristling is Milton's recollection of a union leader, a former Boeing 767 captain.

The pilot "was scheduled to handle an Ottawa-to-London flight just before the (1998) strike deadline. Our crew scheduling people, knowing that this guy wanted to exert as much pressure as possible on the company, confirmed and reconfirmed with him that he would show up for the flight. He said he would but he did not, delaying the takeoff for several hours while a replacement pilot was located and brought to the airport, inconveniencing a couple of hundred Air Canada customers."

While Milton said he found that kind of behaviour "totally unacceptable," it remains "representative of the tactics many union leaders are all too often willing to employ."

ACPA's complaint is just the latest example of how sour relations between Air Canada and its 30,000-member workforce continue to be, even after the airline emerged from insolvency in September.

In October, the union representing Air Canada's customer service workers had to tell members that 185 of its 1,200 workers at Pearson Airport were about to be laid off - a day before the airline signed diva Celine Dion to a multi-million-dollar endorsement.

In December, the airline threatened to smear the credit rating of as many as 5,000 Air Canada flight attendants if they didn't pay back allegedly overpaid meal expenses.

And last month, thousands of passengers were stranded when 800 Air Canada baggage handlers and ramp workers walked off the job in a wildcat strike after the company distributed a memo announcing it was investigating alleged time-sheet padding.

274719-190036.jpg | ANDREW VAUGHAN cp file photo Air Canada CEO Robert Milton is accused of writing "malicious inaccuracies" about the pilots' union's executives in a book last year. Sour relations between Air Canada and its 30,000-member workforce continue to dog the airline.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 03:27 PM   #56
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Pilots move points to more Air Canada labour trouble
Pilots complain over Milton book shows continued 'ill will'

Chris Sorensen
Financial Post
8 February 2005

A complaint by one of Air Canada's most powerful unions about allegedly "malicious" passages in chairman Robert Milton's recent book suggests a history of troubled labour relations continues to haunt the restructured airline.

"It's indicative of a fair bit of ill will between the unions and senior management," said Karl Moore, a professor at McGill University, who follows the industry.

"It's an area they have to clearly make progress on to get a common focus on beating the competition."

The Air Canada Pilots Association, a body that represents some 3,100 of the airline's pilots, filed a complaint last week with a federal tribunal, claiming that Mr. Milton's book -- Straight From the Top: The Truth About Air Canada -- portrays the union's leaders in an unnecessarily negative light.

Mr. Milton, the chairman of ACE Aviation Holdings Inc., the holding company for the restructured airline, described in the book events surrounding a two-week strike in 1998 and negotiations during the carrier's recent restructuring that sought to extract more than $1-billion in concessions from the airline's unions.

"The association wants to protect the integrity of its officers and so exception was taken to those comments," said Peter Foster, a spokesman for the pilot's association.

"We allege that the comments there are inaccurate, untrue and in some cases malicious," Mr. Foster said.

The Canadian Industrial Relations Board has yet to decide if it will hear the complaint.

A spokeswoman for Air Canada said the union's complaint will be "vigorously contested" by the airline.

The complaint comes on the heels of a disruptive wildcat strike by Air Canada ground workers last month that cancelled more than 100 flights and stranded thousands of passengers. The striking employees, members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, were protesting a company investigation of employee time card abuses.

Several analysts have wondered aloud whether such "isolated" incidents point to larger problems brewing at Air Canada, which has posted record load factors, or percentages of seats filled on flights, for the past 10 months.

"A sense of resentment and entitlement still lurks behind Air Canada's culture," said Ben Cherniavsky, an analyst at Raymond James Equity Research, in recent report.

"We are convinced that getting labour's interest aligned with customers' and shareholders' will be one of the greatest challenges going forward," the analyst said.
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Old February 11th, 2005, 08:08 AM   #57
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Air Canada opens new Maple Leaf Lounge at the Infield Terminal at Toronto Pearson Airport

MONTREAL, Feb. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada will officially open its newest Maple Leaf Lounge at the Infield Terminal at Toronto Pearson Airport on February 10, 2005. The Infield lounge boasts 6,566 square feet, clean architectural lines, and wall-length windows providing customers with a bird's eye view of airfield activities, while they relax in comfortable, leather-backed chairs.

Air Canada's Maple Leaf Lounges are designed to make the time prior to boarding relaxing and to offer premium customers an unrivaled level of service in a quiet and comfortable setting away from busy airport common areas. "The new Infield Lounge now offers our eligible overseas customers a relaxing environment conveniently co-located with international gates at the Infield Terminal. The design, services, view and amenities offer our premium passengers an environment that will meet all their expectations," said George Reeleder, Senior Director, Marketing for Air Canada.

Air Canada is proud to have partnered with a variety of high profile sponsors to provide customers with a unique and first class experience. The new lounge will feature:
- Over 100 seat capacity
- Xerox Business Centre with individual work areas for travellers to maximize productivity
- IBM flatscreen personal computers
- Xerox business equipment, including the latest model fax machine, copier, and Phaser solid ink colour printer
- Bell high speed Internet
- Bell's Access Zone wireless Internet throughout the lounge
- Sony Entertainment, including a state-of-the-art large screen TV
- Magazines & newspapers
- Shower facilities
- Light snacks and beverages (including complimentary beer, wine & spirits)
- Complimentary local phones & (credit card) long distance phones

The Toronto Infield Lounge becomes the third Maple Leaf Lounge at Toronto Pearson Airport complementing existing lounges at New Terminal One and the Transborder Lounge at Terminal 2. Air Canada features a total of 19 Maple Leaf Lounges located at all major airports across Canada and key international stations as well as an arrivals lounge in London Heathrow. In co-operation with its Star Alliance partners, Air Canada offers customers access to over 500 airport lounges worldwide. More than two million customers visit Air Canada's award-winning lounges every year.

Photos : http://www.aircanada.com/en/about/media/facts/logo.html
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Old February 14th, 2005, 07:06 PM   #58
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New Union Battle At Air Canada Is Over Passages In Chief's Book
By IAN AUSTEN
14 February 2005
The New York Times

Even though Air Canada recently emerged from bankruptcy court protection, relations between the airline and its unions remain testy. Last month, for example, a disciplinary dispute led to a wildcat strike and briefly shut down the airline's main hub in Toronto.

Now the antipathy between the two sides has entered a new forum: literary criticism.

''Straight From the Top: The Truth About Air Canada,'' the recently published autobiography of Robert A. Milton, the chairman and chief executive of Air Canada's parent company, ACE Aviation Holdings, included some unflattering observations about some pilots and their union.

In response, the Air Canada Pilots Association filed a formal complaint this month with the Canada Industrial Relations Board about how it and its members are portrayed in Mr. Milton's 266-page book.

''There are inaccuracies in the book that in some cases are malicious and untrue,'' said Peter Foster, a spokesman for the union, which has about 3,100 members.

Until the labor board reaches a decision, which may take months, the contents of the complaint remain confidential. And neither Mr. Foster nor anyone at Air Canada, which is based in Montreal, will offer any details about the filing.

Sprinkled throughout the life story of Mr. Milton, an American who grew up in Belgium, Lebanon, England, Singapore and Hong Kong, are numerous negative comments about Air Canada's unions and their leadership. At one point he suggests that a unnamed pilot who was a negotiator for the union proposed a new method for evaluating flight skills because he ''feared failing future check rides and thus losing his job.''

John Reber, a spokesman for Air Canada, declined to comment beyond saying that the union's complaint, whatever it may be, ''is without merit.''

Exactly what the union wants the labor board to do about the book has not been disclosed.

Christopher Waddell, a director of PEN Canada, an advocacy group for free speech, said that it was inappropriate for any labor body to judge books by airline executives or anyone else.

''The strange part of this story is that the labor relations board wouldn't have laughed this out of its office,'' said Mr. Waddell, who is also a journalism professor at Carleton University in Ottawa. ''If the union has a problem, we have laws on libel and slander in this country.''

Rob Sanders, Mr. Milton's publisher and the head of Greystone Books in Vancouver, said that no one from the union or the labor board had contacted his office. He said he was unsure what, if anything, the publishing house could do about the labor board process.

''This is a back-door attempt to get at somebody,'' Mr. Sanders said.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 01:38 PM   #59
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Air Canada unveils new Pearson lounge

Air Canada unveils new Pearson lounge
Wednesday, February 16, 2005 - Page R10

Air Canada launched its newest Maple Leaf Lounge at Toronto Pearson International Airport last week. The 6,566-square-foot space in the Infield Terminal features wall-length windows, a business centre and wireless Internet access throughout. Other amenities include a large-screen TV and shower facilities, as well as light snacks and beverages including complimentary beer, wine and spirits.
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 06:43 PM   #60
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Airline group seeks new union
Regional flight attendants want to bolt Teamsters.
'Full-out war' expected in Air Canada dispute

Rick Westhead
Toronto Star
22 February 2005

A splinter group of 377 flight attendants who work Air Canada's regional routes has filed an application to sever ties with the powerful Teamsters union and start a new bargaining group, the latest sign of labour discord at Canada's largest airline.

The group, which calls itself the Regional Flight Attendants' Union (RFAU), filed an application with the Canada Industrial Relations Board in Ottawa in late January.

The prospective union purports to represent about 70 per cent of the 555 Air Canada employees now represented by the Canada Council of Teamsters.

The application sets the stage for a "full-out war," one official with the flight attendants union said, between the Teamsters and flight attendants who have become disenchanted with the well-known union since it began representing regional flight attendants following Air Canada's merger with Canadian Airlines in 2000.

"The Teamsters spend a lot of money campaigning and pretty much nothing on representation," said Joslyn Dicks, a flight attendant who filed the application with the industrial relations board.

"We're in a situation where business managers are representing us who know nothing about our business," Dicks said. "We want flight attendants to represent flight attendants. It's bad enough that in one situation, I had to explain to one of these business managers what an RJ (regional jet) is."

Dicks said the flight attendants hope the industrial relations board will hold a hearing on their application late this week or next week.

Teamsters representatives didn't return calls yesterday seeking comment. The union's agreement to represent the flight attendants is scheduled to run through June 30, 2009, according to the flight attendants' application.

In documents filed with the industrial relations board, the Teamsters - who represented employees with Air Canada regional unit Air B.C. before the merger in 2000 - have argued the upstart flight attendants union isn't a true trade union and has not signed up at least 50 per cent of Air Canada's regional flight attendants.

The Teamsters also argue the recently filed application isn't timely under Canada's labour rules and that material circulated to prospective bargaining unit members indicates the union's purpose is to "merge with a strong Canadian union."

The Teamsters union has asked the labour relations board to order the flight attendants union to produce notes, emails, letters and meeting minutes that might indicate whether it was planning to merge with one of Air Canada's other unions, such as the Canadian Auto Workers, which represents reservation agents.

The attendants union and Teamsters also differ over how many members the union currently represents.

Since an Oct. 1, 2004, system-wide seniority list indicates there are 1,074 employees in the bargaining unit, the Teamsters said in documents, "it is entirely unclear what the basis is for the applicant's assertion that there are only 555 flight attendants in the bargaining unit."

Dicks said the difference was because the Teamsters account for employees who have been laid off - even if it doesn't appear likely that they will be recalled.

While one of Air Canada's smallest labour groups, the carrier's regional flight attendants stirred up controversy last year. Dicks said a number of regional flight attendants were unhappy with the way the Teamsters represented them in negotiations last year with Air Canada.

"They held a gun to our heads," Dicks said.

The regional flight attendants' complaint is the latest in a series of recent labour problems at Air Canada.

Last month, the union representing Air Canada pilots filed a complaint with the industrial relations board over allegedly disparaging comments made about the union's executive by Air Canada chief executive officer Robert Milton in his book, Straight from the Top: The Truth About Air Canada.
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