Air Canada has revealed major financial losses spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing travel restrictions.
In its annual report, the airline said that its yearly revenue had declined by $13.2 billion to $5.8 billion in 2020,compared to 2019. The company reported an operating loss of $3.7 billion as passenger volume fell by 73%.
Calin Rovinescu, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada, called 2020 the “bleakest year in the history of commercial aviation” as the airline reported a total financial loss of $4.6 billion.
“The catastrophic impact of COVID-19 and government-imposed travel restrictions and quarantines has been felt across our entire network, deeply affecting all of our stakeholders,” Rovinescu said.
“Given these circumstances, we have made many painful decisions over the past year.”
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Despite the year’s hardships, Rovinescu noted that recent discussions with the Government of Canada on sector-specific financial support had left him feeling “encouraged” and “optimistic.”
He clarified, though, that there have not yet been any definitive agreements.
“Air Canada has the strength, agility, and resources to overcome the current crisis and to keep adapting to remain a global leader in the post-pandemic world,” Rovinescu said.
The annual report was released one day after the federal government approved Air Canada’s $190 million takeover of Air Transat.