Air Canada reports C$62 million operating loss in Q1

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Air Canada recorded a C$62 million ($57.03 million) operating loss in the first quarter as it faced weather challenges and the impact of the weakened Canadian dollar.

Despite this, the results reflect a C$44 million improvement from the C$106 million operating loss Air Canada recorded in the first quarter of 2013. However, the airline saw foreign exchange losses rise to C$161 million compared to C$40 million in the first three months of 2013.

The airline’s net loss in the first quarter widened year-over-year by C$81 million to C$341 million, compared to C$260 million in the first quarter of 2013. When adjusted for special items, the loss narrowed to C$132 million from C$143 million a year earlier.

Earnings before income, taxes, depreciation, amortization and rent (EBITDAR) in the quarter increased C$2 million to C$147 million.

Operating revenues totalled C$3.07 billion in the first quarter, or a C$113 improvement from the first quarter of 2013.

Passenger revenues increased C$81 million to C$2.61 billion in the quarter, with 2.9% traffic growth and a 0.4% yield improvement. The carrier’s cost per available seat mile (CASM) decreased 2.5% year-over-year.

"I am pleased to report that despite the challenges of several extreme weather events and the impact of a much lower Canadian dollar in the first quarter, we delivered improved EBITDAR and adjusted results over the previous year," says Calin Rovinescu, the airline’s president and chief executive. “During this somewhat difficult quarter, we continued to make good progress on our cost transformation initiatives with adjusted CASM decreasing by 2.5% and, nonetheless, achieved a solid revenue performance. Based on forward bookings, we expect a strong summer travel season ahead.”