Air Canada’s North American corporate demand has “stabilized a little bit” and was down about 30 percent from 2019 levels, Air Canada EVP and chief commercial officer Lucie Guillemette said Friday on an earnings call.
“But what we are seeing is a steady growth on corporate for international markets,” she added. “That has started to return a little bit later than what we were observing for North America. … We would like the corporate demand to come back to greater levels, but keeping in mind that the pricing environment is also better than it was in 2019. From a revenue standpoint, it’s pretty solid.”
CEO Michael Rousseau noted continued overall strong demand “through the booking curve, despite the fact that corporate travel is not coming back to 100 percent at this point in time,” he said. “But leisure and [visiting friends and relatives] is making more than that up, and we’ve pivoted as a company to be able to take advantage of that demand.”
Q4, 2022 Metrics
Air Canada reported record fourth-quarter 2022 passenger revenue of C$4.06 billion (US$3.01 billion), which was about double that of the fourth quarter of 2021, and 2 percent higher than Q4 2019 on 85 percent of the capacity and 87 percent of the traffic, Guillemette said. Total revenue, also a fourth-quarter record, increased about 71 percent year over year to C$4.68 billion.
Full-year passenger revenue was C$14.24 billion, up 217 percent from a year prior, while total 2022 revenue increased 158 percent to C$16.56 billion, for about 87 percent of 2019 operating revenue, Rousseau said. The carrier reported net income for the quarter of C$168 million and a net loss for the full year of C$1.7 billion.
Fourth-quarter capacity increased 59 percent year over year, representing about 85 percent of Q4 2019 capacity. Full-year capacity was two-and-a-half times that of 2021 and was about 73 percent of 2019’s level.
First-quarter guidance includes capacity at about 90 percent of 2019 levels, up about 24 percent from a year prior. Air Canada expects to be fully resorted to 2019 capacity levels in 2024.
Air Canada Q3 results