Air Canada says it contained costs associated with the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Air Canada adjusted earnings soar above estimate, revenue up in each segment

MONTREAL — Air Canada’s adjusted earnings for the second quarter soared above analyst estimates as the airline contained costs associated with the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and expanded revenue across market segments.

However, the Montreal-based company said the impact of the grounding — now expected to last into January 2020 — will have more of an impact on the third quarter, often the busiest travel period for Canadian airlines.

Air Canada said its third-quarter projected capacity — the number of passengers it can fly — is expected to decline approximately two per cent from the third quarter of 2018. Originally it was to increase three per cent.

The Montreal-based airline also reported Tuesday that its adjusted earnings were 88 cents per diluted share during the three months ended June 30, up from 47 cents a year earlier.

Second-quarter revenue for the Montreal-based airline was $4.76 billion, up $424 million from the same time last year.

Analysts had estimated adjusted earnings of 76 cents per share and $4.71 billion of revenue, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Net profit was $343 million, or $1.26 per diluted share, a turnaround from the loss of $102 million or 37 cents per share that the airline experienced during the comparable period last year.

Air Canada chief executive Calin Rovinescu said the Boeing 737 Max grounding did have a negative impact on year-over-year growth of second-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, but praised employees for creative solutions.

“These are impressive results with revenue growth in each market segment and system passenger revenues up 10.7 per cent on capacity growth of 2.3 per cent,” Rovinescu said in a statement.

He also noted that Air Canada had concluded a definitive agreement to acquire smaller rival Transat AT Inc., a deal that requires further approvals.

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