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Nov 9, 2020

Air Canada delays cutting routes during government bailout talks

Air Canada reports 86% revenue drop in third quarter

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Air Canada said flight capacity will drop 75 per cent in the fourth quarter but that it will put off decisions about suspending even more routes while it talks with the Canadian government about financial aid.

Canada’s largest airline reported third-quarter revenue of $757 million, down 86 per cent from a year earlier, and suffered an operating loss of $785 million. The Montreal-based company said it expects to burn between $1.1 billion and $1.3 billion in cash in the fourth quarter, higher than in the third quarter, partly because of payments it must make to end leases with aircraft owners.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Sunday the federal government is ready to start discussions with Canada’s major airlines on a bailout package, but that the government wants to see them bring back regional routes that were cut because of the pandemic.

Air Canada is “deferring the additional route suspensions and station closures pending the progress of those discussions” with the government, Chief Executive Officer Calin Rovinescu said in a statement.

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