The easing of restrictions, such as the eliminated requirement for a quarantine period if passengers are fully vaccinated, as well as the positive increase of vaccination rates, has led to a significant increase in passenger bookings in June and July.
To cater to the anticipated demand, Air Canada made the decision to increase its seating capacity by 78%, as compared with last year’s second quarter when capacity had to be reduced by 86% from the second quarter of 2019. The airline also plans to increase its seating capacity by 85% year-over-year in the third quarter of this year.
Air Canada also made plans to add to its flight schedules, having pre-planned ambitious winter schedules and peak summer schedules.
Just recently, the airline also announced its summer transborder schedule, which includes a total of 55 routes and 34 destinations within the U.S, as well as almost 220 daily flights between the U.S. and Canada.
The airline doesn’t plan to stop = there, as Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada, said in a press release.
“We are planning to restore services to all 57 U.S. destinations previously served as conditions allow,” he said.
While the current demand for air travel is mainly for leisure destinations, Air Canada is looking for a much more dramatic return for overall demand in the latter part of this year.
Corporate demand is expected to increase around September to October, while demand for Atlantic destinations would increase after that as passengers would look for suns and beaches during winter.
With the outlook of a good recovery, Air Canada is also stepping up to go up against increased competition from the likes of Porter Airlines, which recently announced its own expansion plans.
There is also the rise of budget carrier Flair Airlines, which planned for cheaper, no-frills flights between the U.S. and Canada, posing a threat to Air Canada as it has the ability to undercut the Canadian flag carrier on prices, attracting more passengers.
Air Canada remains unfazed and confident, however, stating that it would readily welcome healthy competition, as it says it is ready to deal with the obstacles its competitors may present.