The COVID pandemic has had a devastating impact on Air Canada as the airline reported Friday an operating loss of $1.555 billion in the second quarter of this year compared to operating income of $422 million in the same quarter in 2019.
In a news release, it said total revenues fell from $4.738 billion in the second quarter of 2019 to $527 million in the second quarter this year, a decline of $4.211 billion or 89 per cent.
“As with many other major airlines worldwide, Air Canada’s second quarter results confirm the devastating and unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and government-imposed travel and border restrictions and quarantine requirements,” said said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada, in a statement.
“Canada’s federal and inter-provincial restrictions have been among the most severe in the world, effectively shutting down most commercial aviation in our country, which, together with otherwise fragile demand, resulted in Air Canada carrying less than four per cent of the passengers carried during last year’s second quarter.
“We will now look to the future using this unprecedented challenge as an equally unprecedented opportunity to rebuild a smaller but even more nimble airline, with a simplified and younger fleet and a lower cost structure coming out of the crisis. Above all, today’s reported declines in revenue of nearly 90 per cent and in passengers of over 96 per cent, should reinforce the tremendous urgency for governments in Canada to take reasonable steps to safely reopen our country and restore economic activity. Other jurisdictions globally are showing it is possible to safely and responsibly manage the complementary priorities of public health, economic recovery and job preservation and creation. This is why Air Canada recently added its voice to that of many business and union leaders, including more than 140 major Canadian corporations and travel and tourism companies, employing nearly three million Canadians, in calling on the Government of Canada to take prudent steps to replace current blanket travel restrictions and quarantines with targeted evidence-based measures that reflect current circumstances.”