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Air Canada: Record 2.6 million holiday travelers

by Staff

Tuesday, January 9, 2024


Air Canada achieves record operational success, safely transporting 2.6 million passengers during the holiday season.

Air Canada has announced exceptional operational achievements during the year-end holiday travel season, safely transporting nearly 2.6 million passengers. The airline celebrated one of its best performances in the past ten years, successfully operating 98 percent of scheduled flights with an impressive on-time performance of 70 percent.

Craig Landry, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer at Air Canada, expressed gratitude to their customers for choosing the airline and commended their commitment to ensuring safe and convenient travel. During the holiday season, Air Canada managed over 20,000 flights, serving approximately 2.6 million passengers, achieving an on-time performance rate of 70 percent. This success resulted from meticulous preparations and the dedication of the airline’s workforce, aided by favorable winter weather conditions.

Throughout the holiday period spanning from December 18, 2023, to January 6, 2024, Air Canada recorded notable achievements:

  1. Approximately 2.6 million passengers flew with Air Canada, marking a 10 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022. This figure is equivalent to moving the entire combined population of Manitoba and Saskatchewan or all the residents of Canada’s Atlantic provinces.
  2. On-time performance (OTP), measured by the industry standard of arrivals within 15 minutes of the scheduled time, reached 70 percent. This is a significant improvement from the 40 percent achieved in 2022, when severe winter weather caused disruptions, and it surpasses the last pre-pandemic holiday season in 2019, which had an OTP of 54 percent.
  3. When delays did occur, the average delay was reduced to 37 minutes, marking a 43 percent decrease from 2022 and a 10 percent improvement compared to the last pre-pandemic holiday season in 2019. Air Canada operated 20,075 flights, with an impressive completion rate of 98 percent. This led to an 80 percent reduction in canceled flights compared to 2022 and a 71 percent reduction compared to the last pre-pandemic holiday season in 2019.
  4. The airline’s efforts also led to a 58 percent decrease in delayed or mishandled bags compared to the previous year, resulting in a remarkable baggage handling success rate of 98.6 percent. Domestic travelers benefited from a new tracking feature on the Air Canada Mobile App, enabling them to monitor their baggage’s progress at key points during their journey.

Excluding the peak pandemic year of 2020, Air Canada achieved its best performance in a decade for flight arrivals within 15 minutes, flight completion, fewest canceled flights, and baggage delivery.

Air Canada’s commitment to operational excellence is evident through a 19.1 percentage point improvement in OTP during the second half of 2023. The airline is actively addressing the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic to consistently surpass pre-pandemic performance levels. Key measures include:

  1. Maintaining stable staffing levels that exceed those of 2019, with ongoing training programs to enhance staff expertise.
  2. Enhancing schedule design to offer greater flexibility in ground time and connecting time for passengers.
  3. Collaborating extensively with key partners in the travel ecosystem, including airport authorities, agencies responsible for airport security, customs and border processing, air traffic control, and third-party ground handlers, caterers, and fuel suppliers. These partnerships have been crucial in improving and preparing for the winter season.
  4. Implementing a comprehensive customer experience program called ECX (Elevating the Customer Experience) across the organization. ECX focuses on enhancing passenger touchpoints through technology investments, self-service options, and business process enhancements.

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