What this means in practical terms is that this month, their flights will now be French-speaking.
In Maythis year, a couple who did not know each other took an Air Canada flight for Canada Day that they expected to take from Montreal to Vancouver and Vancouver to Toronto but ended up in Vancouver instead at 6 pm, a full seven hours later, due to a hold during the flight. They claim that they were treated unfairly by the airline and for nothing.
This time, on the day the Air Canada flight landed in Montreal, it was not given off, which would have been possible if one of the passengers had said something along the lines of, “Your airline doesn’t listen to us. It’s a terrible mistake, but I’ve had it.” But the plane continued on as scheduled and landed in Toronto at 4 pm that evening, still at 6 pm after they had been held for more than seven hours. This time it was also not given off, but after they were given an extra hour that they had not agreed to, they were supposed to board a separate plane at 9 pm with nothing but a few bags and their Canadian credit cards. Despite the fact that they had been at no loss while the time was held, they were then asked to wait while a person they had not spoken to and did not know boarded the unescorted airplane. They were then given a $60 tip and a free flight. The airline, to which this lawsuit was finally filed, has denied the allegations that were made by the couple. In an attempt to settle the dispute, Air Canada gave away an extra $450 of luggage that a companion had been looking forward to bringing on the flight. The case was settled for $5,000 (this amount actually includes a hotel stay), with Air Canada paying $100 in legal fees. The couple now has to get the extra $450 travel voucher just to fly again at the time when this incident happened.
Again, not saying this is not a bad thing and should be welcomed in many areas, but it should always not be done to such a small extent that the airlines can’t respond to concerns or accommodate complaints. Now, about that price increase on October 2, 2009: it is a $150 increase under the terms of a CADA agreement. This was added to the previous $200 cost of a one-way ticket, the increase resulting from an increase in the cost of Canadian Air Service. The additional cost was for “increased capacity and increased number of seats,” that is, another revenue boost. That the CADA agreement is what caused these increases is not news to anyone who has ever dealt with them. One particular scenario that is discussed very often revolves around what has long been considered an inflated revenue figure in relation to revenue growth.
If one were to look at the chart of Air Canada’s finances, one is able to see that Air Canada does indeed look like a profit maker these days. In addition to the increases, Air Canada’s revenue growth, which comes from the increased revenue from what was previously CAC and from the sale of the airline’s assets, is far outpacing Air Canada’s expenses overall. It is only this change in business strategy that puts one on good financial footing. It is just that it is very difficult to calculate anything beyond a certain amount of revenue growth, one which includes a large amount of CAC. In the past, this figure has always been much lower than that of expenses. This is because on average, one can imagine the revenue from CAC coming in close to the costs. But as Air Canada’s revenues grow, Air Canada’s expenses (both real and financial) naturally rise. So while the number of passengers flying Air Canada’s aircraft will remain roughly the same, the number of seats it must accommodate will definitely rise (to more than its previous business model did allow it), and in doing so, costs are going to be higher as well. It will be interesting to see how much that increase looks to the financial picture, but it sure isn’t increasing all at once. As with all things to do with Air Canada, the company is not going to be able to simply ignore it and continue on its path without much change. That is one of the bigger lessons that the company will have to learn from these recent allegations, to the degree that it can, before it repeats these same mistakes in the future. But that still leaves one to wonder if there is anything that this case, and a new year, could do to force that company to change their ways. In the absence of any other action, what would it take to change the status quo? It seems unlikely. Air Canada has been operating in a bad situation for quite some time, and for some time is unlikely to improve. But perhaps the only way to reverse this trajectory is if the company is forced to act quickly. Then, maybe the government will actually give the necessary funding to keep things from going the way they have for years. Until then, Air Canada may well continue on its current track despite facing some increased expenses