Air Canada says it has repaid about $589 million in debt that it used to buy aircraft.

The company said Friday it repaid a $462-million loan from Canada's Export Development Corp. that it used to pay for the purchase of 14 Airbus A220-300 aircraft.

The airline also repaid $127 million in a partial repayment of financings supported by the Export-Import Bank of the United States that was used to buy four Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

Air Canada said one of its top priorities following the pandemic has been to reduce debt and that the moves strengthen its balance sheet and provide it with more flexibility to make strategic investments.

"With our very solid liquidity position and cash flow we will continue to look for more opportunities to reduce debt further," Air Canada chief financial officer John Di Bert said in a statement.

Air Canada reported a profit of $838 million in the quarter ended June 30 compared with a loss of $386 million in the same period a year earlier.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Walter Spracklin viewed the repayment as a positive for the company.

"We believe the steps taken are prudent given the recent sharp increase in fuel prices and the risk that demand for air travel could be volatile," Spracklin wrote in a note to clients.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2023.