Quarterly civil aviation statistics, second quarter 2022
Operating revenue for the 24 largest Canadian air carriers totalled $6.0 billion in the second quarter of 2022, well above that in the same quarter of 2021 and approaching (86.3%) that generated in the second quarter of 2019.
At $5.0 billion, passenger revenue remained the primary source of revenue for airlines, while air cargo generated $606.2 million, or 10.1% of the total, which is roughly twice the revenue contribution observed pre-pandemic.
In the second quarter of 2022, Canadian carriers transported 17.0 million passengers on scheduled and charter services, almost 7 million more than during the first three months of the year.
On March 11, 2020, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. In the months that followed, Canadian air travel remained well below historical levels. Unless otherwise specified, comparisons are made with the same quarter in 2019 (also referred to as "pre-pandemic levels"), when airline activity levels were in line with historical trends.
Rapid recovery in air travel
During the second quarter of 2022, operating revenue for the 24 largest Canadian air carriers (Levels I and II) totalled $6.0 billion. Operating revenue was 86.3% of that generated in the same quarter of 2019, up sharply from the 62.6% generated in the first quarter of 2022 (compared with the first quarter of 2019).
At $5.0 billion, passenger revenue accounted for over four-fifths (83.5%) of the total operating revenue, slightly below the 88.8% proportion in the same quarter of 2019.
Cargo has continued to supplement earnings for many airlines, and goods revenue accounted for $606.2 million in the second quarter of 2022. While this is a drop from the $734.0 million generated in the first quarter, this revenue was more than one and a half times that generated in the second quarter of 2019 and represents 10.1% of total operating revenue.
Meanwhile, total operating expenses were $6.5 billion, 1.0% above the second quarter of 2019. As available seat kilometres remained below pre-pandemic levels, the airlines' operating cost per available seat-kilometre (scheduled services only) was 31.8% higher than the second quarter of 2019.
Compared with the same quarter of 2019, employment was 10.2% lower, while wages, salaries and benefits increased by 17.6%. Airlines incurred $1.4 billion in expenses for their 56,217 employees.
With higher energy prices, Canadian air carriers spent $2.2 billion on turbo fuel, an increase of 30.4% from the same quarter in 2019. The Industrial Product Price Index reported a sharp increase (+130.8%) in jet fuel for the April to June reference months of 2022 compared with the same months in 2019.
Other operating expenses, such as depreciation and maintenance, accounted for the largest share of total operating expenses (45.2%) in the second quarter, followed by turbo fuel (33.9%) and wages, salaries and benefits (20.9%).
The bottom line is that the industry remained in the red as Canadian air carriers reported a tenth consecutive quarter of net operating loss. The loss of $529.6 million in the second quarter, combined with a net non-operating loss of $45.0 million, resulted in a total net loss of $574.5 million for the quarter.
Sharp increase in passengers taking to the skies
The 24 largest Canadian air carriers transported 17.0 million passengers in the second quarter, 16.6 million on scheduled flights and 386,000 on chartered flights. While the number of passengers carried was more than six times that recorded in the same quarter of 2021, it was just under three-quarters (74.6%) of the pre-pandemic level reported in 2019.
The number of passengers on domestic routes was 9.3 million, while there were 7.7 million passengers on international flights: 3.6 million flying transborder (flights between Canada and the United States) and 4.2 million on other international routes. As travel restrictions eased, the number of passengers flying internationally represented roughly half (45.5%) of the total in the second quarter of 2022, up from the same period in 2021, when passengers on international routes represented 12.3% of the total.
Scheduled (non-charter) traffic was 41.2 billion passenger-kilometres in the second quarter of 2022, while capacity was 51.7 billion available seat-kilometres, resulting in a 79.6% load factor for the quarter. This load factor was below the pre-pandemic level of 82.3%, but an increase compared with the 65.6% reported in the previous quarter.
Note to readers
This release covers Canadian Level I and II air carriers. Because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, no air carrier level changes were applied for reference year 2022.
Level I air carriers include every Canadian air carrier that, in the calendar year before the year in which information is provided, transported at least 2 million revenue passengers or at least 400 000 tonnes of cargo.
Level II air carriers include every Canadian air carrier that, in the calendar year before the year in which information is provided, transported (a) at least 100,000, but fewer than 2 million, revenue passengers, or (b) at least 50 000 tonnes, but fewer than 400 000 tonnes, of cargo.
Net non-operating income and loss are from commercial ventures that are not part of the air transportation services, from other revenues and expenses attributable to financing or other activities that are not an integral part of air transportation, and from special recurrent items of a non-periodic nature. Provision for income taxes is also included. Non-operating income can be, for example, capital gains from the sale of aircraft, interest income and foreign exchange adjustment, while non-operating expenses can include capital losses and interest on bank loans and other debt.
Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted.
Data from the second quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022 have been revised.
Because of rounding, components may not add up to the total.
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