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Old January 8th, 2009, 03:37 PM   #821
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Air Canada, WestJet say planes fuller in December

CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Canada's two major airlines said on Wednesday their planes flew with higher passenger loads in December as Air Canada cut capacity and smaller rival WestJet Airlines Ltd attracted more travelers despite a weak economy.

Air Canada, the biggest national carrier, said its load factor, a measure of how crowded its planes flew, rose to 82.7 percent in December, up 3.4 percentage points from 79.3 percent in December 2007.

The airline said its December revenue passenger miles, a traffic measure, fell 6.2 percent from the year-prior month, to 3.43 billion miles.

However the drop in paying passengers was outstripped by a 10 percent cut in the airline's capacity as it followed through on previously announced plans to drop some flights and routes to cope with the weakening economy and heavy fuel costs.

The airline's available seat miles dropped to 4.15 billion from 4.61 billion in the month.

Air Canada's regional affiliate, Jazz Air , reported a 1.4 percentage point drop in its December load factor, to 72.1 percent, as a 10.8 decline in traffic outstripped a 9.1 percent cut in the carrier's capacity.

excerpt
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Old January 8th, 2009, 03:38 PM   #822
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Air Canada, WestJet say planes fuller in December

CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Canada's two major airlines said on Wednesday their planes flew with higher passenger loads in December as Air Canada cut capacity and smaller rival WestJet Airlines Ltd attracted more travelers despite a weak economy.

excerpt

WESTJET LOADS CLIMB

WestJet, which unlike Air Canada operates mostly in the domestic market, said December traffic rose even as it continued to boost capacity.

WestJet's load factor in the month rose 1.6 percentage points to 80.9 percent. It raised its available seat miles by 10.6 percent to 1.46 billion.

Revenue passenger miles climbed 12.8 percent to 1.18 billion from 1.05 billion in December 2007.

The two airlines also released their full year results. Air Canada's 2008 load factor rose 1.1 percentage points to 82.3 percent as traffic climbed 0.1 percent over the year while capacity fell 1.2 percent.

WestJet's 2008 load factor fell 0.6 percentage points as a 12.3 percent rise in capacity surpassed a 12.2 percent increase in traffic.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #823
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By dennis1182 from HKADB :

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Old January 24th, 2009, 06:40 PM   #824
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Layoffs target cabin crews
Loss of 345 workers means fewer attendants on transatlantic flights

24 January 2009
The Toronto Star

Air Canada plans to slash another 345 jobs as it attempts to further scale back flying in the face of a weak global economy.

The country's largest airline said yesterday that the layoffs will target staff among its 5,700 flight attendants as the carrier reduces the frequency of flights on certain routes and serves others with smaller aircraft.

As part of the downsizing, Air Canada said it plans to reduce by one the number of flight attendants serving its business-class cabins on transatlantic flights.

The measures are scheduled to take place beginning March 2.

"We will be looking to mitigate the cuts to the extent that we can," said Peter Fitzpatrick, a spokesperson for Air Canada.

He said the reduced number of cabin crew on transatlantic flights will now be in line with those on other routes and would not compromise passenger safety.

Officials from the Air Canada division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents the airline's flight attendants, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Air Canada is also in discussion with its other employee groups about the impact of the most recent capacity reductions, but anticipates being able to avoid involuntary layoffs of other workers, Fitzpatrick said.

The latest job cuts are in addition to 2,000 positions Air Canada said it was eliminating in June, when the airline pared its flying by 7 per cent in a bid to offset sky-high fuel prices.

Fitzpatrick said as many as half of the originally announced layoffs have been mitigated through voluntary measures such as unpaid leaves, as well as attrition.

Although Air Canada has caught a break from falling oil prices in recent months, it is now facing the prospect of tumbling demand for air travel as consumers clamp down on discretionary spending in the face of an economic recession.

As well, the airline recently found itself facing a liquidity crunch as the financial crisis closed off traditional sources of borrowing - a challenge that has been addressed in part by a recent series of alternative financing arrangements with a variety of lenders.

Air Canada currently employs about 26,600 workers across the company. The airline faces contract negotiations with all of its employee groups this spring.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 03:54 PM   #825
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By Chan Cheuk Hang Calvin from HKADB :





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Old January 26th, 2009, 03:54 PM   #826
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By Chan Cheuk Hang Calvin from HKADB :











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Old January 27th, 2009, 06:32 AM   #827
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ACCC Denies Authorization To Air NZ, Air Canada Cooperation Pact
26 January 2009

WELLINGTON (Dow Jones)--The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Tuesday said it would not authorize a proposed cooperation agreement between Air New Zealand Ltd. (AIR.NZ) and Air Canada (AC.A.T.), arguing that it would reduce competition.

According to the commission, or ACCC, under the agreement the airlines would share revenue from Air Canada's direct Sydney-Vancouver route and Air New Zealand's direct Auckland-Vancouver route. The two airlines would jointly promote the flights.

"The ACCC is concerned that the agreement would reduce competition between Air New Zealand's indirect flights and Air Canada's Australia-Canada direct flights, since Air New Zealand will receive revenue from the direct flights," said ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel.

"On balance, the ACCC considers that the public benefits of the Cooperation Agreement are not likely to outweigh the public detriments," it said.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 08:01 AM   #828
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I love Air Canada's livery. It's very unique. I hope they never change it.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #829
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Air Canada threatens cutback on Pacific route

AIR CANADA has warned it may scale back its Australian operations after the competition regulator rejected its proposal for a "co-operation agreement" with Air New Zealand on the Sydney-Vancouver route.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission yesterday blocked the proposal because it feared such a deal would reduce competition between Air New Zealand's indirect flights between Australia and Canada and Air Canada's daily services between Sydney and Vancouver.

Air Canada's general manager for Australia and New Zealand, Jeannie Foster, said the decision could result in fewer flights but "there was no threat to Sydney-to-Vancouver being operated by Air Canada".

The airline's outbound load factor - a measure of seats occupied by paying passengers - of 44 per cent in October was the worst for any foreign airline servicing Australia, monthly figures from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics revealed.

"We are scheduled for seven days a week, but we have had a series of flights cancelled based on demand," Ms Foster said. "It has started to soften - there is no doubt about that. January is historically a very strong month for us due to the school holidays and skiing." Air Canada cancelled a flight from Sydney on Monday.

The airlines had proposed to share revenue from Air Canada's Sydney-Vancouver and Air New Zealand's Auckland-Vancouver flights, as well as jointly promoting them.

The regulator said it was not convinced that revenue-sharing and joint marketing would solve the "main risk to the direct flights, namely a fall in overall demand".

Air New Zealand said the decision went against a trend in Europe, Asia and the US where airlines were consolidating in response to falling demand. "The continuation of many services operated by airlines is increasingly under threat as demand falls, and this stance by the ACCC is of concern," it said.

The New Zealand carrier declined to say whether it would cut flights to Canada because of the rebuff. The two airlines had said in their joint submission to the regulator that without the co-operation agreement "there may not be sufficient demand to support the direct services".

The carriers are yet to decide whether to challenge the finding.

Qantas is allowed to have a similar relationship with South African Airways on the highly uncompetitive Johannesburg route, a codeshare with Japan Airlines - its only competitor for direct services to Japan - and an ACCC-sanctioned agreement with British Airways.

Qantas told the regulator that it opposed the deal, saying Air New Zealand and Air Canada did "not adequately substantiate the public benefits claimed".

Qantas successfully lobbied against Air Canada's attempts to start services on the Los Angeles-Sydney route two years ago.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 05:58 PM   #830
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Air Canada service, sales staff reject deal

TORONTO, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Air Canada's 5,000 customer service and sales agents have rejected a tentative labor deal reached by the company and their union earlier this month.

Although the employees rejected the deal struck on Jan. 14 between Canadian Auto Workers local 2002 and the Montreal-based airline, the current collective agreement will remain in place until May 31.

"The company awaits the completion of the CAW's internal processes," it said in a statement.

Air Canada's shares rose 1 Canadian cent to C$2.31 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

($1=$1.22 Canadian)
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Old January 30th, 2009, 08:10 AM   #831
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Air canada is moving it's two flights from JFK to Newark due to the entry of continental in star alliance.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 10:57 PM   #832
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Have they sold yet their A340s?
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Old February 1st, 2009, 05:22 AM   #833
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvan View Post
Have they sold yet their A340s?
I think they're all gone. One went to TAM I believe.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 05:44 PM   #834
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Air Canada to offer Portland-to-Calgary flights
3 February 2009

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Air Canada announced it will offer nonstop service between Calgary and Portland beginning June 15.

The daily flights will be operated by Air Canada Jazz, the Montreal-based airline's regional affiliate. Airline spokesman John Reber says the plane will have 50 seats.

Air Canada already offers flights between Portland and Vancouver, British Columbia.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 05:45 PM   #835
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Canada airlines boost loads amid industry downturn

CALGARY, Alberta, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Ltd , the country's biggest carriers, filled higher percentages of available seats in December, but WestJet made the gains while increasing capacity during the sector's downturn.

WestJet reported a load factor of 76.8 percent, up 0.6 percentage points from January 2008. That was against an increase in capacity, measured by available seat miles, of 9.4 percent to 1.485 billion.

Revenue passenger miles rose 10.3 percent to 1.141 billion, said the country's No. 2 carrier.

Calgary-based WestJet has kept increasing capacity as industry conditions have weakened over the past year.

However, Chief Executive Sean Durfy said WestJet is experiencing downward pressure on its yields, the money it makes per seat, pointing to lower first-quarter revenues.

He said the high-demand Easter period fell in the first-quarter last year, which contributed to record revenue.

"Given the continued economic downturn, we are cautious with respect to our year-over-year revenue per available seat mile predictions," Durfy said in a statement.

Air Canada said its mainline filled 79.4 percent of seats in January, up 0.7 percentage points.

The Montreal-based carrier cut capacity by 8.5 percent to 4.33 billion available seat miles, and it flew a total of 3.438 billion revenue passenger miles, down 7.7 percent.

Strong traffic results after five straight years of record load factors show Air Canada is effectively managing its capacity, Chief Executive Montie Brewer said.

The load factor for Jazz Air LP , Air Canada's regional affiliate, fell 4.5 points to 64.9 percent as it cut capacity by 11.9 percent to 424 million available seat miles.

In overall traffic, Jazz flew 17.7 percent fewer revenue passenger miles at 275 million, the airline said.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #836
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Air France, KLM, WestJet mull code-sharing accord
4 February 2009
Agence France Presse

Air France, Canada's WestJet and Netherlands-based KLM signed a memorandum of understanding on a future code-sharing agreement, WestJet said in a statement Wednesday.

"This memorandum of understanding allows the airlines to begin working on building a code-sharing agreement in late 2009 or early 2010," the Canadian airline said.

Before the agreement is completed, the airlines "will contemplate additional opportunities" including an interline agreement to accept each other's e-tickets and through check-in of baggage and passengers, as well as the possibility of frequent flyer program cooperation, the Calgary-based carrier added.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 06:11 PM   #837
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WestJet plans growth despite turbulence; 34% Q4 Slide
12 February 2009
National Post

WestJet Airlines Ltd. plans to push ahead with its growth plans in 2009, despite a significant downturn in the airline industry in recent months.

The Calgary carrier insists it will grow its capacity by 5% this year -- adding nine more leased planes to its 76-plane fleet -- even if waning demand for air travel continues to see it slash prices in order to fill its planes, management said yesterday.

"We're still growing this airline. We're still adding new routes, and we'll continue to grow the WestJet Vacations product," said Sean Durfy, WestJet chief executive, in an interview yesterday. "We're taking nine aircraft this year and we have no flexibility on that."

The news comes after West-Jet reported a 34% slide in fourth-quarter earnings yesterday to $41-million, or 32¢ per diluted share, as harsh winter weather and waning demand for air travel continued to bog down its earnings.

In addition, Petro-Canada cutting its refinement of jet fuel in Alberta forced WestJet to start importing fuel from B. C. during the quarter, which drove its fuel bill up by $7-million and will persist to be an issue until at least May, management said.

Still, Mr. Durfy called the results "exceptional" in the current environment, noting that excluding a one-time tax gain last year, earnings were flat during the quarter year over year.

WestJet will continue to leverage its 30% cost advantage over Air Canada in the months ahead, he said, in order to add new routes between smaller centres that its larger rival would find difficult to make profitable, and to cut its prices in order to stimulate demand.

WestJet also has the option of cutting some of its red-eye flights, he added, in order to fill its planes fuller, he added.

Despite these plans, David Newman, National Bank Financial analyst, said he remains "cautious" about the airline's outlook for 2009.

"The potential for a tougher pricing environment in an increasingly weak economic environment and slackening demand will weigh on [West-Jet's] outlook," he said.

Mr. Durfy said there are several initiatives in the works that will help fill WestJet's planes, most of which rely on the successful implementation of its new reservation system, built by Sabre Airlines Solutions, by the end of the year.

While that process will likely push the launch of WestJet's new loyalty program into the third quarter, he said, it will allow the airline to increasingly move to a so-called "a la carte" model, where passengers pay for the services they want, like advance seat selection and flexible fares.

It will also allow the airline to implement its recently announced code-share agreements with Southwest Airlines and Air France-KLM by the end of 2009 and in the first quarter of 2010 respectively, which carry the potential of adding the equivalent of up to 12 aircraft worth of revenue within the next five years at WestJet, or up to $420-million a year.

Talks continue with Cathay Pacific, and several other carriers, over the potential for further code-share agreements, management said.

"I think we will sign up at least one more this year for 2010," Mr. Durfy said.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 04:55 AM   #838
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Air Canada could be forced into bankruptcy - UBS

CALGARY, Alberta, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Air Canada , the country's biggest airline, could be forced to file for bankruptcy protection if it does not secure additional financing and succeed in renegotiating covenants in credit card agreements, UBS analyst Fadi Chamoun said.

"Notwithstanding lower fuel costs, we believe that cash from operations will be insufficient to meet rising pension funding obligations and over C$1 billion ($800 million) of debt repayment over the next two years," Chamoun said in a note dated Feb. 13.

Covenants in credit card agreements could tighten further in the second quarter and result in the airline being required to maintain higher cash deposits, said Chamoun, who downgraded Air Canada shares to "sell" from "neutral". He also cut his target price for its shares to C$1 from C$1.50.

"In the absence of additional financing (sale of assets) and renegotiation of covenants in credit card agreements, Air Canada could be forced to file for bankruptcy in our opinion," he wrote.

Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah declined to comment on the UBS report.

Air Canada only emerged from its last round of bankruptcy protection in 2004. But the economic crisis has hammered most international carriers as traffic has dropped, forcing them to cut routes, restrain capacity and lay off employees.

Air Canada last year cut 2,000 jobs and slashed capacity by 7 percent and has made more cuts since.

Chief Executive Montie Brewer said on Friday -- as Air Canada announced an unexpectedly large loss of C$727 million for the fourth quarter of last year -- that the airline would seek to reduce costs by another C$100 million and shave capacity by a further 3.5 percent.

Most analysts, however, expect the airline to weather the economic storm. Tom Varesh, an analyst at Canaccord Adams, lowered his rating on Air Canada on Tuesday to "speculative buy" from "buy" and cut the price target to C$4 from C$6 per share, but he said Air Canada will likely be able to make it through 2009.

Air Canada's class B shares were down nearly 10 percent at midafternoon on Tuesday, dropping 14 Canadian cents to C$1.31. The shares have fallen 87 percent over the past 12 months.

The company said on Friday it has shored up its balance sheet with C$641 million in new financing, but warned that the recession may put more pressure on its revenue in 2009. Air Canada said it has up to C$1 billion of assets it could use to increase its liquidity if needed.

($1=$1.26 Canadian)
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Old February 20th, 2009, 06:15 PM   #839
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Air Canada to pay passengers who agree to bump at booking
5 February 2009
The Toronto Star

Few things anger airline passengers more than overbooked flights, but Air Canada is betting some won't mind being bumped if they are offered cash incentives and more control over the process.

The country's largest airline, which, along with rival WestJet Airlines Ltd., reported strong January traffic numbers yesterday, has introduced a program that allows passengers flying within North America to volunteer to be bumped when they book their tickets in exchange for an immediate $7 discount and the option of picking an alternate flight time.

If a passenger who volunteers for the Flexibility Reward Option gets bumped, they're eligible for up to $50 more and will get two to four days' notice. The program, which Air Canada claims is an industry-first, is run by a company called Optiontown and gives the airline freedom to sell more pricey, last-minute seats. The airline's policy has been to overbook flights based on historical calculations of passengers who typically fail to show up at the gate.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 07:42 PM   #840
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BMO Capital cuts price target on Air Canada

March 6 (Reuters) - BMO Capital Markets reduced its price target on Air Canada to C$1.25 from C$2, after Canada's biggest airline reported lower February traffic and a reduction in capacity.

The airline's February traffic dropped 10.5 percent on an 11 percent reduction in capacity.

Air Canada also reported a February load factor of 79.6 percent, which is 40 basis points higher than a year ago, the brokerage said.

"Although a marginally improved load factor is positive, reflecting better use of capacity, we are concerned with the ongoing deterioration in North America," BMO said in a note to clients.

BMO said it was also concerned about WestJet Airlines' recent forecast of a yield decline in the first quarter. However, it believes Air Canada will be less impacted than WestJet, which is Canada's second-biggest airline, due to reductions in capacity.

The brokerage maintained its "market perform" rating on Air Canada as it expects weak results in the coming quarters.

"We continue to believe that Air Canada has enough cash to avoid having to undergo a financial restructuring in 2009, although it could face another cash crunch as it goes through winter 2009-2010," the brokerage said.

Shares of Air Canada, which have lost 90 percent of their value in the last 12 months, were trading up 4 Canadian cents at C$1.04 Friday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

($1=1.281 Canadian Dollar)
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