Air Canada boosts operating result ahead of 787s' arrival

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Air Canada boosted operating income 40% to C$619 million ($563 million) in 2013, and expects to receive three Boeing 787s by this summer.

Revenues were up 2.2% last year, at C$12.4 billion. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and impairment, and rent (EBITDAR) climbed 8.6% to C$1.43 billion. Adjusted to include the impact of benefit-plan amendments, EBITDAR climbed 4.7% to C$1.52 billion.

Fourth-quarter EBITDAR declined 22% to C$277 million, though the same adjustment brings the figure up to C$359 million.

The airline estimates that December’s EBITDAR was reduced C$15 million by "severe weather conditions".

However, fourth-quarter operating income rose from C$47 million to C$135 million.

Air Canada chief Calin Rovinescu says the full-year performance was the best in the airline’s history.

However, he expects EBITDAR for the first quarter of 2014 to be C$15-30 million below last year’s level, citing "severe weather conditions, the weaker Canadian dollar and the impact of increased capacity in certain markets".

The 787 – of which Air Canada is set to receive the first three of 37 “by the summer of 2014” – will “improve the performance of routes currently operated with Boeing 767” and “allow the airline to pursue new international growth opportunities, such as the recently announced Toronto-Tokyo Haneda route”, says the Canadian carrier.