Wednesday, 28 July 2021 00:21

Air Canada sees higher bookings as COVID-19 travel curbs ease




TORONTO, Canada: Air Canada is projecting increased domestic and U.S.-bound flight bookings by this winter as travel restrictions ease.

At the same time, the airline reported a larger-than-expected quarterly loss on Friday.

"We are seeing steadily increasing bookings for the domestic, trans-border and Atlantic markets, and to sun destinations for the coming winter," Chief Executive Michael Rousseau told analysts. "In fact, for the next winter sun travel, future bookings during some weeks in June were ahead of the same period in 2019."

After a 16-month closure of the U.S.-Canada border, Canada will admit fully vaccinated U.S. tourists beginning August 9.

Air Canada reported losses of $6.36 million per day during the second quarter, which was lower than earlier projections. It is predicting losses to improve to $2.4 million and $4 million per day in the third quarter.

While domestic pricing is less certain, on international routes "the environment is quite stable," Chief Commercial Officer Lucie Guillemette said.

Additionally, cargo flights, added during the pandemic, will become an increasingly important part of the carrier’s future, the airline said.