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Air Canada reports a wider loss as new COVID-19 restrictions hit traffic

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Canada’s biggest airline predicts it will burn up to $15 million a day in cash in the second quarter

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Air Canada on Friday reported its fifth straight quarterly loss despite securing a US$5.9 billion government aid package, as rising coronavirus infections in parts of the world and travel restrictions limited traffic.

The Montreal-based airline has been focusing on cargo and domestic flights, as strict Canadian restrictions forced it to slash capacity for international travel and cut costs while a third wave of COVID-19 infections in the country ravages demand.

Canada is facing a slower recovery in air travel compared to the United States, where an accelerated COVID-19 vaccine rollout and falling numbers of cases and deaths have driven a surge in demand for summer flights.

Air Canada projects a net cash burn of between US$13 million and US$15 million per day in the second quarter of 2021.

Operating revenue fell to US$729 million in the first quarter from US$3.72 billion a year earlier.

Canada’s largest carrier reported a loss of $1.30 billion, compared with $1.05 billion.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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