AMERICAS: Air Canada raises C$1 billion in financing

Air Canada, which has been working its way out of a liquidity crisis that was threatening to push the company into bankruptcy proceedings for the second time since 2003, has raised more than one billion Canadian dollars (US$923 million) in new financing. Canada’s largest airline, a unit of ACE Aviation Holdings, was under the gun […]


ACE Aviation Holdings Air Canada Calin Rovinescu liquidity crisis


Air Canada, which has been working its way out of a liquidity crisis that was threatening to push the company into bankruptcy proceedings for the second time since 2003, has raised more than one billion Canadian dollars (US$923 million) in new financing.

Canada’s largest airline, a unit of ACE Aviation Holdings, was under the gun to raise at least C$600 million in order for new concessionary labor contracts with five Canadian unions to go into effect. The new contracts will hold the line on wage and pension benefits for the next 21 months.

Last week, Canada’s Minister of Finance approved a regulation that gives the airline a reprieve from making pension contributions for 21 months, and then fixes the payments for the next three years. Air Canada faces a C$2.9 billion pension deficit. Without the waiver, it was scheduled to make catch-up contributions later this week and again in mid-August.

Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada’s chief executive officer, said raising C$1 billion in new liquidity was a big achievement. He said the money will give the Montreal-based carrier, North America’s seventh-largest by traffic, breathing room as it repositions itself to return to profitability.