(Adds detail, background, CEO quote, share movement)
April 3 Air Canada on Thursday
said it expects higher first-quarter earnings before interest,
taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment, and aircraft
rent (EBITDAR) due to system-wide traffic growth and capacity
The airline on Feb. 12 said it expected EBITDAR to fall by
between C$15 million ($13.6 million) and C$30 million from a
year earlier, when it earned C$145 million.
The company now expects first-quarter earnings to be in line
with last year's level.
The company reported a higher revenue per available seat
mile (RASM), as well as a better expense per available seat mile
(CASM) in the first quarter.
The country's largest carrier said it expects first-quarter
system available seat mile (ASM) capacity growth of 3.8 percent
from last year, which it earlier forecast at the lower end of
the range of 3.5 to 4.5 percent increase.
Air Canada now expects first-quarter adjusted CASM to
decrease in the range of 2 to 2.5 percent in the first quarter,
compared to the 1 to 2.0 percent decrease projected earlier.
"For the month (March), traffic grew overall by 1.4 percent
led by the U.S. transborder market, and for the quarter traffic
grew 2.9 percent with increases in all markets Air Canada
serves," Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu said in a statement.
The Montreal-based company also reported a capacity increase
of 3.6 per cent in March.
Air Canada's stock closed down 2.4 percent at C$5.76 on the
Toronto Stock exchange on Thursday.
($1 = 1.10 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by
Eric Walsh and Diane Craft)