Air Canada profit shows a 3rd Quarter Profit, no BUTS

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AC got more for the remaining 25 E-190s than I would have expected. Good quarter considering fuel, both AC and WS ought to benefit in Q4 from the correction in fuel prices the past week or so.


  • Third quarter EBITDAR of $1.265 billion and operating income of $840 million
  • Record third quarter operating revenues of $5.415 billion
  • Record unrestricted liquidity of $5.309 billion
  • Leverage ratio of 2.0

MONTREAL, Oct. 31, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today reported third quarter 2018 EBITDAR(1) (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and aircraft rent) of $1.265 billion compared to third quarter 2017 EBITDAR of $1.360 billion.  Air Canada reported operating income of $840 million compared to operating income of $976 million in last year's quarter.  The airline reported third quarter adjusted pre-tax income(1) of $793 million compared to adjusted pre-tax income of $922 million in the prior year's quarter.  On a GAAP basis, in the third quarter of 2018, Air Canada reported income before income taxes of $876 million compared to income before income taxes of $965 million in the third quarter of 2017.  


"I am extremely pleased with both our unit revenue performance and our adjusted CASM(1) results for our all-important third quarter.  Quarterly operating revenue grew 11 per cent, exceeding $5 billion for the first time in our history, and our year-over-year PRASM performance was among the best in the North American airline industry.  Strong revenue and cost management substantially offset the challenges we faced in the quarter, principally the significant increase in fuel prices.  Once again, the strength of our brand and of our people shone through in the quarter," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada.

"Going forward, we expect our revenue momentum to continue in the fourth quarter and into next year.  Indeed, with the trends we are seeing now, we expect our PRASM performance, both in the domestic market and throughout the network, to continue to improve in the final quarter of 2018," said Mr. Rovinescu.

"Complementing our record revenue generation was a disciplined and efficient approach to costs. Adjusted CASM rose 1.1 per cent from the third quarter of the prior year, well below the 2 to 3 per cent increase projected for the period with our second quarter results in July. Largely driven by higher fuel prices, Air Canada's CASM increased 9.8 per cent from the third quarter of 2017.  Cost control will remain central to our strategy and we have already identified or realized two-thirds of the $250 million cost transformation program initiated early this year. Furthermore, we reached record unrestricted liquidity of $5.3 billion and achieved a leverage ratio(1) of 2.0.

"Our business model is creating substantial value.  We have a powerful and comprehensive network with three strong global hubs.  We have a compelling product and customer offering.  In July, Air Canada was named the Best Airline in North America for the second consecutive year and for the seventh time in nine years by Skytrax, which has also reaffirmed Air Canada's rating as North America's only four-star international network carrier.

"I thank our 30,000 employees for their hard work in taking care of our customers during a challenging but satisfying summer. We set a new, single-day record for passengers carried of more than 178,000 in August.  Finally, I also thank our customers for their continued loyalty. It is our unwavering commitment to continue improving and providing superior, award-winning service as we transport them safely to their destinations," concluded Mr. Rovinescu.

Acquisition of Aimia's Aeroplan Loyalty Business

On August 21, 2018, Air Canada, The Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Visa Canada Corporation (collectively, "the Consortium") and Aimia Inc. ("Aimia") announced that they had entered into an agreement in principle for the acquisition of Aimia's Aeroplan loyalty business.  The transaction is subject to the satisfactory conclusion of definitive transaction documents, Aimia shareholder approval, and certain other conditions, including due diligence, receipt of customary regulatory approvals and completion by the Consortium of credit card loyalty program and network agreements for future participation in Air Canada's new loyalty program.  The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. 

Third Quarter Income Statement Highlights

In the third quarter of 2018, on capacity growth of 6.7 per cent, record system passenger revenues of $5.018 billionincreased $504 million or 11.2 per cent from the third quarter of 2017.  The increase in system passenger revenues was driven by traffic growth of 7.5 per cent and a yield improvement of 3.4 per cent, despite an increase in average stage length of 1.3 per cent which had the effect of reducing system yield by 0.7 percentage points. On a stage-length adjusted basis, system yield increased 4.1 per cent year-over-year.  Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 4.2 per cent over the same quarter in 2017, or 4.9 per cent on a stage length adjusted basis.

In the business cabin, system passenger revenues increased $98 million or 13.0 per cent from the third quarter of 2017 on traffic and yield growth of 8.9 per cent and 3.7 per cent, respectively. 

In the third quarter of 2018, operating expenses of $4.575 billion increased $671 million or 17 per cent from the same quarter in 2017, mainly driven by higher fuel prices year-over-year and by the increase in capacity.

Air Canada's cost per available seat mile (CASM) increased 9.8 per cent from the third quarter of 2017.  The airline's adjusted CASM increased 1.1 per cent from the prior year's quarter, better than the 2.0 to 3.0 per cent increase projected in Air Canada's news release dated July 27, 2018.  Air Canada's better than expected adjusted CASM performance was largely driven by lower than forecasted Regional airlines expense, the impact of cost reduction initiatives related to Air Canada's cost transformation program, and other operating expense reductions.  The lower Regional airlines expense was primarily due to certain engine maintenance events being recorded as capitalized maintenance versus operating expense in the third quarter of 2018, as well as timing of maintenance activities related to the Air Canada Express fleet.

Air Canada reported adjusted net income(1) of $561 million or $2.03 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2018 compared to adjusted net income of $922 million or $3.33 per diluted share in third quarter of 2017.  On a GAAP basis, the airline reported third quarter 2018 net income of $645 million or $2.34 per diluted share compared to third quarter 2017 net income of $1.723 billion or $6.22 per diluted share. The net income in the third quarter of 2017 included an income tax recovery of $758 million 

Financial and Capital Management Highlights

At September 30, 2018, unrestricted liquidity (cash, short-term investments and undrawn lines of credit) amounted to $5.309 billion, the highest level in Air Canada's history (December 31, 2017  $4.181 billion).

At September 30, 2018, adjusted net debt of $5.620 billion decreased $496 million from December 31, 2017.  In the nine months ended September 30, 2018, increases in long-term debt and finance lease balances of $559 million and capitalized operating lease balances of $63 million were more than offset by an increase in cash and short-term investment balances of $1,118 million.  At September 30, 2018, Air Canada's leverage ratio was 2.0 versus a ratio of 2.1 at December 31, 2017.

Net cash flows from operating activities of $371 million in the third quarter of 2018 decreased $122 million compared to the third quarter of 2017.  Free cash flow(1) of $470 million in the third quarter of 2018 represented an increase of $146 millionfrom the third quarter of 2017.  Third quarter 2018 free cash flow included net proceeds of $293 million from the sale of 25 Embraer 190 aircraft.

For the 12 months ended September 30, 2018, return on invested capital (ROIC(1)) was 12.7 per cent, significantly higher than Air Canada's weighted average cost of capital of 7.4 per cent.  


Edited by dagger
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AC results very good considering fuel cost increases and capacity increases. Managed to preserve yields.

2018 will not generate as much profit as 2017. And 2019 may not generate as much profit as 2018.

However, good liquidity and positive cash flows. AC goal seems to remain as revenue growth while completing fleet renewal which will positively impact CASM.

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6 hours ago, rudder said:

“Third quarter 2018 free cash flow included net proceeds of $293 million from the sale of 25 Embraer 190 aircraft.”

190 Disposal rates are contained in the Fleet Plan chart in the MD&A.

Wow! That’s $11,270,000 per ship.  I wonder what they paid for them to begin with?

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"Embraer and Air Canada Sign Agreement for 45 Embraer 190s

(Source: Embraer; issued Dec. 19, 2003)
Embraer and Air Canada have signed a commercial proposal for the sale of 45 Embraer 190s, with the possibility of options for 45 additional Embraer 190s.

Under the agreement, deliveries of the two-class configured airplanes will begin in 2005. The final contract, subject to a number of conditions, is planned for the first quarter of 2004. The firm order is valued at US$ 1.35 billion, at list price, with a potential value of more than US$ 2.7 billion if all options are exercised."

List price was $30 million each, but likely paid a lot less.
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9 hours ago, j.k. said:

Nordic Capital.

I wonder if some of them will end up in a place like Iran, now that the Iranians can't buy US jets and may have a problem even with Airbus. Used aircraft of that age don't face the same issues with sanctions.

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