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Air Canada reverses plan to cancel some A220s, brings MAX deliveries forward

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After experiencing favorable revenue and traffic trends over the busy summer period, Air Canada (ADH2) is increasing its fleet faster than expected.

“To facilitate our network rehabilitation,” the Canadian flag airline declared on November 2, 2021, “we have reversed our decision to cancel two Airbus A220 aircraft orders and are now speeding deliveries of new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.”

The two Airbus A220 planes will be delivered in 2024 and are part of a 12-plane A220-300 order that Air Canada (ADH2) had previously announced it would not proceed with.

Air Canada (ADH2) has moved four Boeing 737 MAX deliveries to the fourth quarter of 2021, bringing the total number of 737 MAX aircraft in its fleet to seven in 2021. By the end of the second quarter of 2022, the Canadian airline will have received nine more 737 MAX jets, bringing its total MAX fleet to 40.

Air Canada (ADH2) announced the news as it released financial results for the three months ending September 30, 2021.

Operating revenues nearly tripled to C$2.1 billion ($1.69 billion) in the third quarter, while the company’s operating deficit shrank to C$364 million ($294 million) from C$785 million ($633 million) the previous year.

According to the airline, cargo revenues have surpassed C$1 billion ($0.8 billion) so far this year, which is a new high.

The airline also announced that it generated net cash of C$153 million ($123 million) in the quarter, beating projections of C$280-C$460 million ($226-$371 million) in cash burn.

“We are encouraged by the favorable revenue and traffic trends in the third quarter, with strong increases in key passenger geographic segments, a record cargo performance and significant improvements in both Air Canada Vacations and Aeroplan,” Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada (ADH2), said in the earnings report.

In the third quarter, Air Canada’s (ADH2) capacity was around 33% of pre-pandemic levels. It intends to operate at around 53% of pre-crisis capacity in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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