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May 25, 2020

Air Canada CEO compensation cut by more than half to $5.8M due to COVID-19

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MONTREAL -- Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu was on track to receive around $12.9 million in total compensation last year, but the value fell by more than half as the airline's shares stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of May 4, when the company's share price closed at $17.63 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the total compensation of its president and chief executive officer was estimated at $5.8 million. Air Canada's shares closed at $16.76 on Monday.

Remuneration of top executives and board members were included in a proxy circular sent to Air Canada shareholders prior to its virtual meeting scheduled for June 25.

Rovinescu, 64, was entitled last year to a base salary of $1.4 million. The value of his share-based awards fell to $1.89 million from $3.55 million, and $3.5 million in options were worthless due to a big drop in the share price. His bonus was also cut by more than half, to $1.6 million from $3.5 million while his pension value was $875,000.

The CEO gave up his base salary until June 30. His total compensation was $11.6 million 2018.

In 2019, Air Canada earned $1.4 billion in profits on $19.1 billion in revenues. COVID-19 turned everything upside down with the airline losing $1.05 billion in the first quarter ended March 31, in addition to forecasts that it would take more than three years to recover from the current crisis.