Plane Crash in Stephenville, Newfoundland – 51 people aboard, no injuries reported

News provided by Travel Industry Today

16 NOV 2018: PAL Airlines Flight 1922 was en route from Wabush, N.L., to Deer Lake carrying 47 passengers and four crew when it crash-landed at the Stephenville airport after encountering issues with its nose landing gear. There were no injuries.

Gene Babb who was onboard the plane says passengers became nervous after they were asked to brace themselves in a crash position.

In the moments before the Dash 8 aircraft touched down, Babb said there were children crying and some “nervous flyers” that were extremely concerned.

“When they announced to get into emergency crash position, that’s when a lot of people got really nervous,” Babb said in a phone interview from a bus driving passengers from Stephenville to Deer Lake.

PAL Airlines said the crew followed procedure, including a flyby of the Deer Lake control tower for a visual check of the nose gear position.

It said there was inclement weather in Deer Lake, so the Dash 8 aircraft proceeded to the Stephenville airport for landing, as the nose gear could not be confirmed as locked.

The airline said the plane landed without the nose gear locked in position and came to a stop on the runway.

Babb said, “Everybody got off the plane in good orderly fashion and obviously everybody was happy when we touched down and they clapped.”

He said the crew opened two doors at the front of the plane, including an emergency door that Babb said he used “just for the sake of doing it.”

“Everybody was in good spirits. A lot of guys were saying they would need a drink,” he said. “They asked if they could have a smoke and the firefighters were shouting at some of the guys not to.”

Babb said the crew handled the incident calmly and professionally.

“They told us that the nose gear wouldn’t come down and they were going to try some maneuvers,” he said. “They were jolting the plane trying to get the landing gear down but after they exhausted all the attempts at that, they told us to prepare for an emergency landing.”

Babb said the flight crew went through the cabin two or three times to make sure all the passengers were safe and secure.

“It was all very cool and calm and you could obviously tell the flight attendants were a little bit concerned, but they were doing their job and they were doing it professionally,” he said.

Babb, who is not a nervous flyer whatsoever, said he was more concerned with the fact he would be delayed getting home to St. John’s, N.L., after weather cancelled his initial flight on Wednesday.

“I’m into a lot of extreme sports and now I can say I survived a plane crash,” he said. “I can scratch that off the bucket list.”

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TSB will be deploying an investigator to an aircraft accident at the Stephenville Airport, Newfoundland and Labrador

News provided by Transportation Safety Board of Canada

DARTMOUTH, NS, Nov. 15, 2018 /CNW/ – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) will deploying an investigator tomorrow morning to the site of an aircraft accident that occurred today at the Stephenville Airport, Newfoundland and Labrador. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

The TSB is online at www.tsb.gc.ca. Keep up to date through RSSTwitter (@TSBCanada), YouTubeFlickr and our blog.

SOURCE Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Europe in the winter with Air Transat – From festive Scottish markets to the turquoise waters of the Algarve, passengers are invited to discover or rediscover Europe this season

News provided by Transat A.T. Inc. 

MONTREAL, Nov. 16, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – While planning their winter vacation, many Canadians will opt for a transatlantic trip to escape the rigours of winter and discover something new. With Air Transat, named the World’s Best Leisure Airline in 2018, travellers will be spoiled for choice this season. Faithful to its mission of making Europe accessible year-round, the airline has daily flights to Paris and London, as well as flights to Manchester, Glasgow, Lisbon, Porto, Faro and Malaga.

There’s no shortage of things to do in Europe in the winter. For one, there are the seasonal celebrations. In Scotland, for instance, many cities and towns hold holiday markets where travellers can find one-of-a-kind souvenirs, ride a Ferris wheel or do a little skating. In England, the cooler climate is the perfect excuse to drop by a historic pub for some comfort foods or to sip afternoon tea at London’s Barbican Conservatory. As for Paris, the off-season offers tourists the joy of visiting cafés and museums without the large crowds. 

Farther south, the turquoise waters and towering cliffs of the Algarve, in Portugal, and the white seaside villages of the Costa del Sol, in Spain, are drawing more and more Canadian tourists. In Malaga—which boasts the highest average temperatures in Spain and more than 300 days of sunshine annually—golfers have some 70 golf courses to choose from. Another idea is to fly to Faro, on Portugal’s south coast, to snap pictures of the Algarve’s magnificent landscapes, and then spend some time in the Douro Valley, near Porto, or in Lisbon, with its mouth-watering pasteis de nata.

After all, Air Transat’s multi-destination option lets travellers land in one city and return from another at no extra cost. This opens up a range of itinerary possibilities and lets people combine several destinations, such as Lisbon and Porto, or Paris and London.

Flights to Europe this winter: so many options…
This winter, Air Transat continues its daily direct flights from Montreal to Paris, while also upping the frequency of its flights to Malaga, the main hub of the Costa del Sol, in Spain, and to Lisbon and Porto, in Portugal. A weekly flight from Quebec City to Paris will be added in mid‑December, increasing to twice a week during the season’s peak moments.

Departures from Toronto to the UK will continue with daily flights to London, not to mention flights to Manchester and Glasgow. Air Transat will also fly more often to Lisbon and Porto, Portugal, and take vacationers to the Algarve, in the south of the country, via its flights to Faro.

Even more domestic flights and connections 
This winter, Air Transat will be enhancing its domestic flight program by linking several major Canadian cities. The airline is vastly expanding its program between the major western cities (Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton) and Toronto and Montreal in order to greatly facilitate access to European destinations. Flights will be added between Montreal and Toronto as well, giving passengers more flexibility.

Incomparable inflight experience
All Europe-bound passengers are in for an unparallelled inflight experience with Air Transat. The cabin comfort, free hot meals on transatlantic flights (including in Economy Class), personal entertainment system accessible via individual touch screens or Air Transat’s mobile app, as well as an attentive crew, are just some of the reasons why flying Air Transat is so enjoyable. Passengers in Club Class benefit from an exclusive cabin with spacious and comfortable seats, in addition to two checked bags, various priority services and a gourmet menu by Daniel Vézina.

Safety is our Highest Priority – Manitoba airports to receive funding

News provided by Travel Industry Today

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15 NOV 2018: Dan Vandal, MP for Saint Boniface announced Government of Canada investments for safety improvements at five Manitoba airports. The Brochet Airport, Gods River Airport, Island Lake Airport, and the Little Grand Rapids Airport are each receiving $36,000 to replace a towed, multi-wheeled compactor for use on a gravel runway.

Periodic compacting of crushed rock runways is key to ensuring safe usage by aircraft, passengers, and crews, as well as preventing the gravel from loosening. 

The Flin Flon Airport is receiving $282,900 for the purchase of a loader and attachments, which will assist with the removal of snow and ice from runways, taxiways and the apron.

This is intended to help to protect costly airport safety assets such as snow clearing equipment and aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles during airport operations. 

Funding comes from Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP).

Cargo Clean up at Halifax YHZ

News provided by Travel Industry Today

15 November 2018

articleimage

15 NOV 2018: Crews have begun tearing into the mangled Boeing 747 cargo jet that overshot a Halifax runway last week, as gawkers marvelled at the huge wreck- and how close the plane came to breaching the airport’s fence and overrunning a public road. Dozens of people watched late Sunday afternoon as a backhoe dug into the midsection of the fuselage, which buckled when the empty SkyLease Cargo plane overshot the runway at Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Wednesday.

“It’s quite a sight- it’s awful close to the road. If it hadn’t stopped where it did, it would be right where we’re parking right now,” said Jayme Newcombe, who came from Milford, NS., with her partner Jamie Fillmore to show the mangled aircraft to their three-year-old son, Riley, who is fascinated by planes.

“They’re very lucky to walk away from that for sure. A few more feet and they would have gone through some telephone poles and it could have been worse for them. Very lucky to end it the way they did,” said Fillmore.

The four crew members suffered minor injuries and the plane was badly damaged when it slid 210 metres off the end of Runway 14 on Wednesday. Federal investigators said it touched down in rainy conditions while being buffeted by a crosswind with a potential tailwind.

Flight KKE 4854, which had arrived from Chicago just after 5 a.m. Wednesday after a two-and-a-half hour flight, was to be loaded with live lobster destined for China.

As it skidded down a slight, grassy embankment, the plane hit a large localizer antenna, its landing gear collapsed, two of its four engines were torn off and there was a small fire under the tail section caused by one of the severed engines.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said Saturday that it had released the site, and planned to examine recovered components at its Ottawa lab.

Investigators planned to download and analyze data from the cockpit voice and flight data recorders, the TSB said. They planned to talk to witnesses, review control tower audio and radar data, and investigate weather and runway surface conditions as well as records for the aircraft and its pilots.

It also said it would “examine the terrain at the end of the runway at Halifax/Stanfield Airport to determine what role it played in aircraft damage.”

The Halifax airport authority said Saturday it was working with SkyLease as the carrier made plans to remove fuel from the aircraft, which it said was expected to take a number of days.

Late Sunday afternoon, the massive plane remained within a few dozen metres of the fence as crews worked around it.

The operator of a large backhoe would rip at the plane’s mid-section, get out to take a look, and then take another swipe. A smaller backhoe picked up nearby debris, including what appeared to be pieces of airport ground equipment, as people with rakes filled up drums with debris.

Jordan Reimer drove to the airport from the Annapolis Valley to have a look at the wreck with some friends. He said he had recently damaged his own light aircraft in a windstorm, and sympathized with the pilot.

“Was worth the drive all the way out here, definitely,” he said. “I just feel really bad for the pilot. He did not have a good day.”

A new YUL route, Continuous Pricing & more for Lufthansa Group

News provided by travelweek.ca

Thursday, November 15, 2018 Posted by Travelweek Group

TORONTO — The Lufthansa Group (LHG) is many things – an airline group, an aviation company, and a “human-centric” global corporation. What it’s not? An Uber in the sky.

Delivering far more than simple A to B travel experiences, LHG – whose main hub airlines include Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines – is investing heavily into modernizing its fleets, expanding its networks, and digitizing its platforms, all of which are being done in response to customer needs, said Heike Birlenbach, Senior Vice President Sales, Lufthansa HUB Airlines.

“Our customers’ expectations are changing and we need to make sure that we’re not a one-size-fits-all,” she said in a media briefing in Toronto yesterday. “We need to be able to respond to their needs, and this means relying on and investing in technology. To some it’s a buzz word, but to us we see it as a real opportunity to cater to our customers.”

Coming off its best year in history in 2017, Birlenbach said 2018 is also looking good for LHG, which just released its Q3 results. It generated total revenues of EUR 26.9 billion in the first nine months, an increase of 6% over the prior year, with traffic revenues also up 7%. In October alone, the Group welcomed around 13.2 million passengers, an increase of 9% compared to the previous year’s month.

And with more digital capabilities on the horizon, plus a new Montreal-Vienna route coming in spring 2019, LHG’s presence among both travellers and travel partners – particularly in Canada – is only set to increase in the coming years.

Here are some highlights:

NEW ROUTES & ROUTE UPDATES

Beginning April 29, 2019, Austrian Airlines will introduce year-round flight service between Montreal and Vienna on Boeing 767 aircraft. Service will occur daily throughout the summer schedule and five times per week during the winter season.

With this new route, Austrian’s existing Toronto-Vienna service will be taken over by Star Alliance partner airline Air Canada, also starting on April 29, 2019, year-round, daily, nonstop, onboard its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. These flights will operate five times weekly during the winter, and daily throughout the summer. The flight connection between Vienna and Toronto will also be bookable as a codeshare flight via Austrian Airlines.

JOINT VENTURE

Through its joint venture with United and Air Canada, the Lufthansa Group enjoys close to 30% marketshare in the North Atlantic (Canada and the U.S.), which represents the largest group capacity for transatlantic. The Toronto-Vienna route, which will be taken over by Air Canada, is “a perfect example of how well we work with Air Canada,” said Hans DeHaan, Senior Director Canada of Lufthansa Group.

Birlenbach added that LHG is now entering a new stage of the joint venture, “where we’ll have even stronger ties to each other.” Next steps involves making sure that “we have seamless customer experiences between the airlines.”

In the North Atlantic, LHG offers 352 weekly flights in 23 destinations, three of which are in Canada (Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver). These three are connected to five main hubs – Vienna, Zurich, Frankfurt, Munich and Brussels, and from there, everywhere beyond.

TECHNOLOGY

According to Birlenbach, Lufthansa took a rather disruptive approach a couple years ago when it first launched NDC (New Distribution Capability) initiatives. As one of the first airlines to adopt the IATA-backed program, Lufthansa now has 2,000 agencies connected via NDC channels, which allow them to sell all the airline’s products.

Encouraging all travel agencies to “walk with us into the future,” Birlenbach added that Lufthansa is also working on expanding its own web offerings. “Thirty percent of our tickets are managed through our platforms,” she noted.

LHG has launched an NDC microsite – lhgroupairlines.com/ndc – that highlights all the ways the Group supports agencies on the technical side. It also works with Farelogix (for larger agencies), and SPRK (for smaller agencies), a free web-based booking platform.

“All this is a sign that we really want to take the trade along on our journey and make sure they understand why we’re moving in this direction,” said Birlenbach.

Other digital initiatives include AirlineCheckins.com, an automated check-in assistant that checks in travellers for flights on more than 200 different airlines, and a Facebook Messenger service (still in its Beta version) that allows travellers to rebook tickets directly from the app.

CONTINUOUS PRICING

In development right now for LHG’s hub airlines is Continuous Pricing, which Birlenbach said was created in response to increased competition and ever-changing dynamics in the marketplace. With all of the world’s airlines currently working on a pricing structure based on the 26 letters of the alphabet, which serve as ‘steps’ so to speak, LHG is opting for a more dynamic logic that offers infinite steps, with in-between price points.

“With the current pricing structure, if one price isn’t available anymore, then the next level comes up and it might be a difference of, say 100 euros or Canadian dollars,” she said. “But with Continuous Pricing, every agency or corporation that’s connected to us directly will be able to get all those price points in between. This will really benefit the customer since it’s usually the lower price available before getting to the next level.”

Adding that Continuous Pricing will be sellable in the marketplace, Birlenbach believes that once it’s established, agencies will call for a direct connect solution.

Continuous Pricing is already available in Germany for partner agencies, and will be launched internationally in 2019.

INNOVATION

LHG has spent approximately 500 million euros throughout the years on digital innovation, going so far as to create a brand new company in Berlin called Lufthansa Innovation Hub. Through the company, which launched in 2014, LHG searches for travel-based startups for possible investment opportunities, a venture that has proven so successful that it’s opening two additional branches in Singapore and China.

MODERNIZATION

According to Birlenbach, by year’s end LGH will have spent about 3 billion euros in new aircraft and services. By average, the Group will spend approximately 2 billion euros per year over the next few years in order to modernize its fleet, which currently sits at about 730 aircraft.

In May 2018, Lufthansa switched from the A330 to the A350-900 on its summer route from Vancouver to Munich. The aircraft will resume servicing this route in the summer 2019 timetable.

Austrian Airlines’ new Premium Economy Class has been fitted on all of its long-haul aircraft, featuring a total of 228 seats that were produced specially for LHG.

Lufthansa will be a launch customer for the new Boeing 777X, which will enter its long-haul fleet in 2020 (it’s not known at this time whether it will service Canada). The 777, which is considered more environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient than other aircraft, will feature a brand new business class.

In addition to the 777, Birlenbach said more A350s are coming. Lufthansa’s 747-400s will be phased out over time.

IN-FLIGHT AMENITIES

Lufthansa Business Class passengers on flights lasting more than 10.5 hours can enjoy the new Lufthansa Dream Collection, which includes a pillowcase, blanket and mattress topper.

On Austrian, passengers can take advantage of a full Business cabin where there’s a ‘Coffeehouse in the Sky’, a curated collection of up to 12 different brews made right in the galley. A chef – complete with a chef’s hat – also walks around the Business cabin to take passengers’ food orders.

SWISS passengers can book the Economy Light airfare on North American routes, considered the least expensive option for price-conscious passengers who only travel with carry-on luggage.

And on SWISS and Brussels Airlines, passengers now have the option to extend their trip by a few days with the new ‘Stopover Switzerland’ and ‘Belgium Stop Over’ programs, currently offered within certain markets, including Canada and the U.S.

World’s first research centre to improve Canadians’ air travel experience

News provided by National Research Council Canada

Air travel simulator to develop greener, safer, and more comfortable air travel

OTTAWA, Nov. 14, 2018 /CNW/ – Air transport allows thousands of Canadians to connect with families and explore other parts of the world. It is also at the core of Canada’s economic future. To remain a leader in the aerospace industry and keep air travel safe and enjoyable for all Canadians, we need to invest in leading-edge technologies. 

The National Research Council of Canada launched the new Centre for Air Travel Research. (CNW Group/National Research Council Canada)
The National Research Council of Canada launched the new Centre for Air Travel Research. (CNW Group/National Research Council Canada)

Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced the launch of the new Centre for Air Travel Research. The new centre, managed by the National Research Council of Canada, is the world’s first and only facility to study the air travel experience from start to finish; from check-in to terminal, to security, boarding, flying, and deplaning.

All businesses involved in the air travel experience, including airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and cabin equipment and systems suppliers need the right research platforms and technologies to develop and test their solutions to real-world challenges. The Centre for Air Travel Research provides the aerospace industry with a flexible, collaborative space to develop, integrate, and evaluate aerospace technologies, systems and materials.

With expertise across a wide range of disciplines, the National Research Council supports the aerospace industry in tackling various air travel challenges. Located next to the Ottawa International Airport, this unique facility will allow companies to evaluate a passenger’s complete air travel experience to improve safety, efficiency and comfort for Canadian travellers and visitors.

Quick Facts

  • In 2017, over 140 million passengers travelled through Canadian airports.
  • Last year the aerospace industry made a significant contribution to Canada’s economy through more than 188,000 direct and indirect quality jobs and over $24.5 billion in gross domestic product.
  • The Centre for Air Travel Research has five laboratories that simulate and study a passenger’s complete air travel experience.
  • In addition to offering a realistic recreation of an airport terminal, the Centre for Air Travel Research also boasts the Flexible Cabin Laboratory, complete with an A320 aircraft cabin that allows for the study of passenger flight experience, human vibration, and more.

Quotes

“Canadians want safe, efficient, affordable, and comfortable air travel services. The National Research Council of Canada’s Centre for Air Travel Research – a research and development facility – will benefit travellers, airlines, and aircraft manufacturers from around the world.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport

“Our government is working to make sure that the Canadian aerospace industry is in the best possible position to meet customers’ needs and remain competitive. By launching the world’s first and only centre dedicated to improving customers’ air travel experience, Canada is demonstrating that it’s at the leading edge of innovation.”
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Using a holistic approach, our simulator draws from our team’s diverse knowledge base in areas like environmental controls, vibration, avionics, and human factors to help improve passenger comfort, safety and enroute efficiency. We are proud to be investing in technology platforms that will be critical for the long-term success of the aerospace industry.”
Iain Stewart, President of the National Research Council of Canada

Associated Links

SOURCE National Research Council Canada

Aimia Reports Third Quarter 2018 Results

News provided by AIMIA

Adjusted EBITDA at $55.5 million and Free Cash Flow at $37.5 million

Ongoing progress towards finalizing the Aeroplan transaction

MONTREAL, Nov. 14, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – Data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company Aimia Inc. (TSX: AIM) today reported its financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2018. 

Chief Executive Officer, Jeremy Rabe, commented: “Q3 marked another quarter of solid cash generation. Redemptions continued to trend in line with our expectations and spend on Aeroplan credit cards remained strong. 

“Maintaining a strong cash and liquidity position, alongside business simplification and cost reduction, remain our key short term priorities. In our loyalty services businesses, the core competencies and solutions we can bring have led to us being recognized as an industry leader cited for its global reach and strategy capabilities. Our skills have been deployed building programs for blue chip client accounts serving hundreds of millions of loyalty members around the world. What we need – and are putting in place – is a more efficient service delivery model to improve profitability and generate better returns for our shareholders.”

Strategic highlights: 

  • Aimia continues to progress negotiations with the Consortium towards a year end closing of the Aeroplan transaction
  • Customer focused realignment of loyalty services businesses underway and expected to drive improving financial results
  • Investments delivered solid distributions and mark-to-market gains in the quarter

Q3 highlights – GAAP basis:

  • Consolidated Total Revenue up by 6.3% to $372.7 million
  • Net earnings at $21.7 million, up by $62.0 million 
  • Cash from operating activities at $45.6 million

Q3 highlights – Continuing operations, with variances on a like-for-like basis:(1)(2)

  • Coalitions Gross Billings down 3.8% to $323.7 million; Consolidated Gross Billings down 4.2% to $362.8 million on a like-for-like basis
  • Adjusted EBITDA at $55.5 million; Adjusted EBITDA margin (excluding restructuring expense) at 15.6%
  • Net earnings at $21.7 million
  • $37.5 million of Free Cash Flow generated in the quarter  

This quarterly earnings release should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and the MD&A which can be accessed on SEDAR as well as at: https://www.aimia.com/investors/quarterlyreports/

Please refer to “Notes” for details on notations that appear in this Press Release.

Consolidated Financial Highlights(1)

HIGHLIGHTS (1)Three Months Ended September 30,
(in millions of Canadian dollars,
except per share amounts)
20182017YoY % 
Change
YoY % Constant 
Currency (C.C.)
Continuing operations 
Gross Billings 362.8380.4(4.6)(4.9)
Total Revenue 372.7350.56.36.1
Operating Income (loss)2.3(18.3)****
Adjusted EBITDA55.551.38.27.8
Net Earnings (loss) from Continuing operations(4)  21.7(42.5)****
ROIC(3)7.9%5.1% 2.8 pp**
Consolidated (unless otherwise noted)
Net Earnings (loss)(4)21.7(40.3)****
Earnings (loss) per Common Share – Continuing operations(4)0.11(0.31)****
Earnings per Common Share – Discontinued operations0.000.02****
Adjusted Net Earnings per Common Share – Continuing operations(4)0.330.04****
Adjusted Net Earnings per Common Share – Discontinued operations0.05****
Cash from Operating Activities45.663.1(27.7)**
Free Cash Flow before Dividends Paid37.551.9(27.7)**
Free Cash Flow before Dividends Paid per Common Share0.250.34(26.5)**
** Information not meaningful

Strategic Update

Agreement in principle to acquire the Aeroplan business

On August 21, 2018, Air Canada, The Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Visa Canada Corporation (collectively, “the Consortium”) and Aimia Inc. announced that they had entered into an agreement in principle for the acquisition of Aimia’s Aeroplan loyalty business. The aggregate purchase price consists of $450 millionin cash and is on a cash-free, debt-free basis. Assuming completion of the transaction, the Aeroplan miles liability would remain with Aeroplan and no longer be owned by Aimia. The transaction remains subject to the satisfactory conclusion of definitive transaction documents, Aimia shareholder approval, and certain other conditions, including due diligence, receipt of customary regulatory approvals and completion by the Consortium of credit card loyalty program and network agreements for future participation in Air Canada’s new loyalty program.

Future strategic direction

The company continues to focus on delivering flexibility, value and an improved member experience to its 5 million engaged Aeroplan members.

Delivering improved returns and cash generation from the company’s other assets also remains a focus for management. 

The Board of Directors has formally commenced a process to review and evaluate the future strategic direction of Aimia assuming and following completion of the proposed Aeroplan transaction. As part of that process, the Board of Directors has asked Management to present it with alternative visions and plans regarding the Corporation’s mid- and long-term strategic future and direction, including as a leading player in loyalty management. The Board of Directors has, in its review process, decided to form a committee to be comprised of independent directors for the purpose of receiving and considering any such Management recommendation(s). The Board of Directors is currently actively engaged in these matters, and the Corporation will publicly disclose the results of its review process setting out the vision and direction of the Corporation once it has formally made decisions or determinations with respect to the foregoing.

Operational Performance

Consolidated Gross Billings at $362.8 million  

Consolidated Gross Billings were down $17.6 million to $362.8 million in the quarter. Excluding the impact of disposals of non-core assets, Consolidated Gross Billings were down 4.2%.

  • Coalitions Gross Billings were down 3.8% to $323.7 million. Despite a strong conversion campaign from a financial card partner and higher credit cardholder spend per card, a lower number of active credit cards and less promotional activity along with the absence of a non-air conversion campaign, a lost retail partner and reduced bonusing from an existing partner, drove an overall decline of 4.3% for Loyalty Units Gross Billings. Loyalty Services Gross Billings were up by 5.8%, due to higher ancillary services.
  • Insights and Loyalty Solutions Gross Billings were down 7.3% to $39.5 million. Gross Billings from Loyalty Units were down 15.9% due to revised pricing terms in the Air Miles Middle East program. Loyalty Services billings were 4.4% below last year due to client losses and a lower volume of set up fees compared to last year. Recurring billings from loyalty platforms and related services increased in the quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA at $55.5 million; continuing to make progress on operating expenses

  • Adjusted EBITDA was $55.5 million or 15.3% of Gross Billings, compared to $51.3 million in the prior year. Lower operating expenses and the timing of severance expenses globally, along with higher distributions from equity-accounted investments, were partly offset by reduced business contributions. Excluding restructuring and the impact of business disposals, adjusted EBITDA was $56.5 million, compared to $60.5 million in the prior year.
  • Operating expenses were down $15.4 million to $101.8 million, with $9.4 million of the decrease attributable to the Coalitions business reflecting timing of severance expenses and lower headcount. The remaining variance was mostly attributable to a $5.3 million decrease in the Insights and Loyalty Solutions business due to lower headcount and reduced IT and operations spend, offset by higher share-based compensation, as well as a $0.9 million reduction related to business disposal.
  • Total headcount at September 30, 2018, was down by around 20% to 1,610, from 2,025 at September 30, 2017, partly as a result of business disposals.

Free Cash Flow generation at $37.5 million to contribute to further debt paydown

  • Cash from operating activities in continuing operations was $45.6 million, an increase of $7.1 million mainly reflecting favourable changes in net operating assets, operating expense reductions, higher distributions from investments and lower net interest and taxes paid, offset in part by lower billings and higher redemption expense.
  • Higher availability was a driver of increased Aeroplan redemptions, along with a higher redemption cost per mile which reflected unfavourable foreign exchange impacts and product mix.
  • Free Cash Flow was $37.5 million, compared to $51.9 million in the prior year. The variance is mainly explained by a decrease of $23.1 million related to discontinued operations. Total capital expenditures from continuing operations were $8.1 million, a decrease of $1.6 million mainly attributable to lower spend in the Coalitions division. Free Cash Flow per Common Share from continuing operations was $0.25.

Balance sheet

  • Cash and investments in bonds at September 30, 2018, was $552.6 million. Total debt levels (including drawn letters of credit) of $328.4 million at September 30, 2018, are expected to decrease to approximately $309.6 million during the fourth quarter, with $18.8 million of the cash generated in the third quarter expected to be used to reduce the drawn amount on the company’s credit facility during the fourth quarter.

Solid performance from investments

  • The company’s investment in loyalty program Club Premier continued to generate a meaningful distribution at $4.5 million (2017: $4.2 million), reflecting a solid underlying business and a growing member base. In the third quarter, Gross Billings from Loyalty Units were up 5% to US$61.3 million, while Adjusted EBITDA was up 2% to US$21.6 million. Total members were up 0.6 million to 5.9 million at September 30, 2018. 
  • The company’s stake in Cardlytics, a publicly-listed purchase intelligence company, was valued at $96.2 million at September 30, 2018, reflecting a $12.7 million gain in the quarter.

Return on Invested Capital  

For the 12 months ended September 30, 2018, ROIC was 7.9%, compared to 5.1% for the 12 months ended September 30, 2017. An increase in adjusted operating income after taxes and a decrease in average Invested Capital, due in part to the reduction in the average net debt, both contributed to the increase in ROIC.  

2018 Guidance

The company’s previously provided guidance for the year ending December 31, 2018, remains unchanged, with the exception of Coalitions Adjusted EBITDA margin guidance which is being increased from the “above 18%” guidance originally issued on February 14, 2018. Aimia’s restated 2018 guidance is as follows: 

  • Coalitions Gross Billings: around $1.3 billion 
  • Coalitions Adjusted EBITDA margin: above 19%
  • Coalitions Free Cash Flow (on a pre-tax basis): between $155 million and $175 million
  • Consolidated Free Cash Flow before Dividends Paid (on a pre-tax basis): between $120 million and $145 million

The above guidance is based on current expectations around redemption expense at Aeroplan and is on an IFRS 15 basis. It further assumes that Aimia includes the Aeroplan program until December 31, 2018. 

The guidance excludes the impact of taxes and restructuring, and costs that may be incurred as a result of the agreement in principle announced on August 21, 2018. Further to the utilization of prior tax loss carry forwards, the company expects to pay cash taxes in 2018. Cash taxes could be around $20 million based on current expectations around profitability, mainly against profit generated in the Coalitions business. Restructuring expenses (which are now expected to total between $15 million and $20 million) and payments (which are now expected to total between $20 million and $25 million) are also excluded from the guidance. 

See “Forward-Looking Statements” below regarding assumptions underlying the above guidance and risks related thereto.  

Dividends

Based on restrictions currently in place under the Canada Business Corporations Act and the company’s credit facility agreement, as amended, the company believes that it will not be in a position to declare or pay dividends in 2018. However, it will continue to assess its ability to declare and pay dividends on its outstanding preferred shares on a quarterly basis.

Quarterly Conference Call and Audio Webcast Information

Aimia will host a conference call to discuss its third quarter 2018 financial results at 8:30 a.m. EST today (Wednesday, November 14, 2018).  The call will be webcast at: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/1652774/E61A064CBA4500BD30D54A4B33984C6E

Analysts intending to ask questions can dial into the call at 1-888-231-8191 (647-427-7450 for the Toronto area).

A slide presentation intended for simultaneous viewing with the conference call is available at: https://www.aimia.com/investors/presentations/ and an archived audio webcast will be available at: https://www.aimia.com/investors/events/ for 90 days following the original broadcast. 

This quarterly earnings release was reviewed by Aimia’s Audit Committee and was approved by the company’s Board of Directors, on the Audit Committee’s recommendation, prior to its release.  Notes

  1. Non-GAAP financial measures (Adjusted EBITDA, ROIC, Adjusted Net Earnings per common share, Free Cash Flow before Dividends Paid and Free Cash Flow before Dividends Paid per Common Share) and constant currency are explained in the section entitled “Non-GAAP Financial Measures”.
  2. Continuing operations refers to consolidated results (i.e. excluding discontinued operations). Like-for-like variances are calculated on the basis of 2017 consolidated results excluding “Other Businesses”, as set out in the table below.
  3. ROIC for the twelve-month period ended September 30, 2017 includes the unfavourable impact of the onerous contract provision of $14.9 million, net of an income tax recovery of $5.4 million, calculated on the basis of the Canadian statutory tax rate in effect during the period.
  4. Net Loss, Loss from continuing operations per Common Share and Adjusted Net Earnings from continuing operations per Common Share for the three months ended September 30, 2017 include the loss of $19.9 million on the disposal of the Canadian Air Miles trademarks and a related net income tax expense of $1.2 million.

Appendix

The table below for the three months ending September 30, 2018, sets out financial metrics and reconciliations along with year-on-year variances on the basis of the Consolidated results excluding the 2017 results of “Other Businesses” as defined in the company’s MD&A:

Three Months Ended September 30,
CoalitionsILSConsolidated
2018201720182017201820172017
(excl. Other
Businesses) (1)
YoY %YoY % 
(excl. Other
Businesses)(1)
Gross Billings323.7336.539.542.6362.8380.4378.7-4.6%-4.2%
Total revenue338.9313.734.235.5372.7350.5348.86.3%6.9%
Cost of rewards and direct costs214.0198.74.33.1218.1201.8201.88.1%8.1%
Total operating expenses66.375.735.741.0101.8117.2116.3-13.1%-12.5%
Total operating expenses before restructuring 65.867.535.239.2100.8107.1106.3-5.9%-5.2%
Adjusted EBITDA62.759.2(7.2)(8.7)55.551.350.58.2%9.9%
Adjusted EBITDA margin % 19.4%17.6%-18.2%-20.4%15.3%13.5%13.3%1.8 pp2.0 pp
Adjusted EBITDA before restructuring 63.267.4(6.7)(6.9)56.561.460.5-8.0%-6.6%
Adjusted EBITDA margin % (before restructuring)19.5%20.0%-17.0%-16.2%15.6%16.1%16.0%-0.5 pp-0.4 pp
Included in Adjusted EBITDA:
Change in Future Redemption Costs14.8(7.1)(0.7)0.414.1(6.7)(6.7)****
Cost of rewards recorded against deferred revenue(6.9)(7.6)(6.9)(7.6)(7.6)****
Distributions from equity-accounted investments4.54.20.95.44.24.228.6%28.6%
Free Cash Flow before Dividends Paid (continuing operations)37.528.828.130.2%33.5%
Free Cash Flow before Dividends Paid (continuing operations) (before restructuring and taxes)40.936.434.912.4%17.2%
Restructuring expenses – divisional structure0.58.20.51.81.010.110.0****
Restructuring payments – divisional structure4.16.76.7****
Taxes paid (received)(0.7)0.90.1****
** Information not meaningful
(1) Consolidated results less Other Businesses. Other Businesses include the results of the U.S. Channel and Employee Loyalty (“CEL”) business, the New Zealand business and the royalty revenue related to the Canadian Air Miles trademarks, until their respective disposals.
 HIGHLIGHTS (1)Nine Months Ended September 30,
(in millions of Canadian dollars, 
except per share amounts)
20182017YoY % 
Change
YoY % Constant 
Currency (C.C.)
Continuing operations 
Gross Billings 1,087.71,171.0(7.1)(7.1)
Total Revenue 1,154.11,114.23.63.6
Operating Loss(3)(4)(1.5)(54.4)97.298.3
Adjusted EBITDA(4)163.1123.731.932.1
Net Earnings (Loss) from Continuing operations(3)(4)(6)(8)(9)  46.6(68.7)****
ROIC(5)7.9%5.1% 2.8 pp  **
Consolidated (unless otherwise noted)
Net Earnings (loss)(3)(4)(6)(7)(8)(9)54.2(55.8) **  **
Earnings (loss) per Common Share – Continuing operations(3)(4)(6)(8)(9)0.22(0.53) **  **
Earnings per Common Share – Discontinued operations(7)0.050.08(37.5) **
Adjusted Net Earnings per Common Share – Continuing operations(4)(6)(8)(9)0.900.26 **  **
Adjusted Net Earnings per Common Share – Discontinued operations(7)0.050.21(76.2) **
Cash from Operating Activities(10)116.8118.3(1.3) **
Free Cash Flow before Dividends Paid(10)97.982.219.1 **
Free Cash Flow before Dividends Paid per Common Share(10)0.640.5125.5 **
**Information not meaningful

Notes

  1. Non-GAAP financial measures (Adjusted EBITDA, ROIC, Adjusted Net Earnings per common share, Free Cash Flow before Dividends Paid and Free Cash Flow before Dividends Paid per Common Share) and constant currency are explained in the section entitled “Non-GAAP Financial Measures”.
  2. Continuing operations refers to consolidated results (i.e. excluding discontinued operations).
  3. Operating Loss, Net Earnings and Earnings from continuing operations per Common Share for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 include an impairment charge of $8.0 million related to the International ISS business.
  4. Operating Loss, Adjusted EBITDA, Net Loss, Loss from continuing operations per Common Share and Adjusted Net Earnings from continuing operations per Common Share for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 include the unfavourable impact of the onerous contract provision of $20.3 million related to an IT outsourcing arrangement in the US.
  5. ROIC for the twelve-month period ended September 30, 2017 includes the unfavourable impact of the onerous contract provision of $14.9 million, net of an income tax recovery of $5.4 million, calculated on the basis of the Canadian statutory tax rate in effect during the period.
  6. Net Earnings, Earnings from continuing operations per Common Share and Adjusted Net Earnings from continuing operations per Common Share for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 include the unfavourable impact of the reversal of the contingent consideration receivable related to the sale of the Canadian Air Miles trademarks of $5.3 million as well as an income tax recovery of $1.3 million.
  7. Net Earnings, Earnings from discontinued operations per Common Share and Adjusted Net Earnings from discontinued operations per Common Share for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 include the impact of the gain of $5.4 million on the disposal of the Nectar Program and related assets.
  8. Net Loss, Loss from continuing operations per Common Share and Adjusted Net Earnings from continuing operations per Common Share for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 include the gain on the disposal of the U.S. CEL Business of $5.4 million and the fair value gain on the convertible notes of Cardlytics of $7.7 million.
  9. Net Loss, Loss from continuing operations per Common Share and Adjusted Net Earnings from continuing operations per Common Share for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 include the loss of $19.9 million on the disposal of the Canadian Air Miles trademarks and a related net income tax expense of $1.2 million.
  10. Cash from Operating Activities, Free Cash Flow before Dividends Paid and Free Cash Flow before Dividends Paid per Common Share for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 include a rent prepayment of $11.8 million related to a London office space. The prepayment covers the period from February 2018 to December 2019.

Chorus Aviation announces third quarter earnings

Momentum in new regional aircraft leasing transactions continues

News provided by Chorus Aviation Inc

Delivering regional aviation to the world  

  • Net income of $43.7 million, or $0.31 per basic share, inclusive of an unrealized foreign exchange gain of $14.0 million.
  • Adjusted net income1 of $30.8 million, or $0.22 per basic share, a decrease of $18.0 million, of which $12.6 million was driven by changes in tax rates in 2017.
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 of $87.1 million, an increase of $3.4 million or 4.0% primarily due to increased earnings from aircraft leasing.
  • Continued execution on aircraft leasing strategy with the addition of three new customers and growth in third-party fleet to 33 aircraft, of which five will be delivered over the course of 2019.
  • Expanded maintenance, repair and overhaul (‘MRO’) certifications to include Embraer 135 and 145 aircraft.
  • Added airBaltic as a third-party airframe maintenance customer.
  • Diversified parts provisioning offerings with the addition of Q400 inventory.
  • Completed the eighth Extended Service Program (‘ESP’) on a Dash 8-300 aircraft.

HALIFAX, Nov. 14, 2018 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) today announced third quarter financial results for the period ended September 30, 2018.  

“Our business delivered solid performance in the third quarter of this year,” said Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus.  “Our financial performance in the third quarter generated over $87.0 million in adjusted EBITDA, a $3.4 million or 4.0% increase over third quarter 2017 due primarily to growth in aircraft leasing.  Net income per basic share was $0.31.”

“The Chorus team executed on our diversification strategy securing leasing and maintenance, repair and overhaul contracts with new international customers,” continued Mr. Randell. “The addition of Philippine Airlines, Lion Air and JamboJet extends our aircraft leasing customer base into 13 countries and marks our first transactions in Southeast Asia, a market we believe has good potential for additional aircraft placements.”

“Once these recently announced transactions are completed, we will have acquired aircraft valued at approximately $730.0 million USD to date, excluding the CPA aircraft, and secured additional, long-term lease revenue streams,” remarked Mr. Randell.

“We also gained traction on the MRO front,” commented Mr. Randell. “We were very pleased to welcome airBaltic to our portfolio of third-party maintenance customers to conduct airframe maintenance on 12 Q400s.  Further, we obtained Transport Canada certification to perform MRO work on Embraer 135 and 145 aircraft diversifying our capabilities beyond Bombardier products.  This, in addition to expanding our parts provisioning inventory to now include highly marketable Q400 parts, supports our mission to provide a complete suite of support services to regional operators worldwide.”

“I’m confident in our pipeline for future growth opportunities, and I extend my gratitude to our team of exceptional professionals for embracing our vision,” concluded Mr. Randell.

THIRD QUARTER 2018 SUMMARY

Financial Performance – third quarter 2018 compared to third quarter 2017
In the third quarter of 2018, Chorus reported adjusted EBITDA of $87.1 million versus $83.7 million in 2017, an increase of $3.4 million or 4.0%. Adjusted EBITDA came in below Management’s expectations due to added CPA costs related to increased component repair maintenance, primarily on the classic Dash 8 fleet, and CPA on-time performance challenges. Rate performance varies quarter to quarter depending on a number of factors.  From a year to date perspective, Chorus’ rate performance on controllable costs is consistent with the same period of 2017.

There were also several one-time adjustments that impacted the quarter-over-quarter comparisons.

The third quarter of 2017 other cost category was $1.5 million lower due to a one-time reduction in contingent consideration payable.  The third quarter of 2018 other cost category increased by $1.2 million related to a one-time adjustment to the supplemental defined benefit pension plan. 

Removing the impact of these items resulted in a $6.1 million positive variance due to:

  • an $8.6 million increase in third-party regional aircraft leasing; and
  • a $2.5 million increase in aircraft leasing earnings under the CPA; offset by
  • increased CPA costs of $5.0 million which resulted from increased maintenance costs of $3.0 million mainly related to classic Dash 8 aircraft, and $2.0 million in additional costs associated with CPA on-time performance challenges.

Adjusted net income was $30.8 million for the period, a decrease from 2017 of $18.0 million, or 36.9%.   Adjusted net income in the third quarter of 2017 was impacted by a change in tax rates which was recorded in this quarter and relates to the nine months ended September 30, 2017 results. This change had the effect of lowering income taxes, and therefore increased adjusted net income for the third quarter of 2017 by $12.6 million.  The third quarter of 2018 was also negatively impacted by foreign exchange losses on debt and working capital which amounted to $3.3 million. 

Removing the impact of these items, adjusted net income was $2.1 million lower quarter-over-quarter due to:

  • an additional $2.8 million in depreciation, primarily related to new aircraft; and
  • an increase in interest costs of $2.4 million related to additional aircraft debt; offset by
  • the $3.4 million increase in adjusted EBITDA previously described.

Net income was $43.7 million for the period, a decrease of $35.6 million or 44.9% from the same period of 2017.  The decrease was primarily due to a quarter-over-quarter change in foreign exchange of $17.1 million, the previously noted $18.0 million decrease in the adjusted net income and increased employee separation program costs of $0.5 million.

YEAR TO DATE 2018 SUMMARY

Year to date 2018 compared to year to date 2017
For the nine months ended September 30, 2018, Chorus reported adjusted EBITDA of $249.7 million versus $204.0 million in 2017, an increase of $45.7 million or 22.4%. The 2017 other cost category was $1.5 million lower due to a one-time reduction in contingent consideration payable. The 2018 other costs were increased by a $1.2 million one-time adjustment related to the supplemental defined benefit pension plan.

Removing the impact for these items resulted in a $48.4 million positive variance year-over-year due to:

  • a $36.8 million increase in third-party regional aircraft leasing;
  • a $6.2 million increase in aircraft leasing earnings under the CPA;
  • decreased stock-based compensation of $4.0 million;
  • decreased other costs of $5.2 million, mainly driven by reduced general overhead including the impact of the change in stock price on deferred share units; offset by
  • decreased contract flying contribution of $3.8 million mainly related to reduced revenue from international flying and a decrease in incentive revenue.

Adjusted net income was $86.7 million for the period, a decrease from 2017 of $5.1 million, or 5.6%.    Adjusted net income was impacted by a change in tax rates which was recorded in the third quarter of 2017 and related to the nine months ended September 30, 2017 results. This change had the impact of lowering income taxes, and therefore increased adjusted net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 by approximately $18.4 million.  The 2018 year to date figure was also negatively impacted by foreign exchange losses on debt and working capital which amounted to $3.1 million. 

Removing the impact for these items resulted in a $16.6 million increase year-over-year due to:

  • the $45.7 million increase in adjusted EBITDA previously described: offset by
  • an additional $17.8 million in depreciation primarily related to new aircraft; and
  • an increase in interest costs of $11.3 million related to additional aircraft debt and convertible debentures.

Net income was $65.0 million for the period, a decrease of $82.4 million or 55.9% from the same period of 2017.  The decrease was primarily due to a year-over-year change in foreign exchange of $79.8 million and the previously noted $5.1 million decrease in the adjusted net income; offset by decreased employee separation program costs of $4.2 million.

2018 OUTLOOK

(See cautionary statement regarding forward-looking information below)

Since the start of last year, Chorus has realized net proceeds of $303.0 million from the issuance of Convertible Units in March 2017 and the issuance of Common Shares* in March 2018. Approximately 30% of this capital remains  is uncommitted and Chorus anticipates committing the balance by mid-2019 in new to mid-life aircraft with long-term leases to a diverse group of high quality customers located around the world.

Based on the 2017-2018 winter schedule, the 2018 summer schedule and updated planning assumptions received from Air Canada, Billable Block Hours for 2018 are expected to be between 364,000 and 370,000 hours based on 116 Covered Aircraft as at December 31, 2018. The actual number of Billable Block Hours for 2018 may vary from this anticipated range due to various factors.

Capital expenditures for 2018, excluding those for the acquisition of aircraft and ESP, and including capitalized major maintenance overhauls, are expected to be between $41.0 million and $48.0 million.

* ‘Common shares’ refers to Chorus’ Class A Variable Voting Shares and Class B Voting Shares

Investor Conference Call / Audio Webcast

Chorus will hold an analyst call at 09:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 to discuss the third quarter financial results. The call may be accessed by dialing 1-888-231-8191. The call will be simultaneously audio webcast via: 
https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/1851698/66F31419A0CD397AF0EC6760CDA9954D

This is a listen-in only audio webcast.  Media Player or Real Player is required to listen to the broadcast; please download well in advance of the call.

The conference call webcast will be archived on Chorus’ website at www.chorusaviation.ca under Reports > Executive Management Presentations.  A playback of the call can also be accessed until midnight ET, November 22, 2018 by dialing toll-free 1-855-859-2056, and passcode 1273527#.

1NON-GAAP MEASURES

This news release references several non-GAAP measures to supplement the analysis of Chorus’ results.  These measures are provided to enhance the reader’s understanding of our current financial performance.  They are included to provide investors and management with an alternative method for assessing our operating results in a manner that is focused on the performance of our ongoing operations and to provide a consistent basis for comparison between periods.  These non-GAAP measures are not recognized measures under GAAP, and therefore they are unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. A reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures to their nearest GAAP measure is provided in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis (‘MD&A’) dated November 13, 2018.

Adjusted net income and Adjusted net income per Share are used by Chorus to assess performance without the effects of unrealized foreign exchange gains or losses on long-term debt and finance leases related to aircraft, foreign exchange gains or losses on cash held on deposit for investment in the regional aircraft leasing business, signing bonuses, employee separation program costs and strategic advisory fees.  Chorus manages its exposure to currency risk on such long-term debt by billing the lease payments within the CPA in the underlying currency (US dollars) related to the aircraft debt.  These items are excluded because they affect the comparability of our financial results, period-over-period, and could potentially distort the analysis of trends in business performance.  Excluding these items does not imply they are non-recurring due to ongoing currency fluctuations between the Canadian and US dollar. During the first quarter of 2017, Chorus revised its definition of Adjusted net income to exclude the signing bonuses, employee separation program costs, and strategic advisory fees to facilitate transparency and comparability as these items can fluctuate from period to period.  In addition, Chorus revised its definition of Adjusted net income to exclude foreign exchange gains or losses on US dollar denominated cash held on deposit for investment in the regional aircraft leasing business.  This item is excluded as it relates to a foreign exchange gain or loss on proceeds from the Convertible Units that were converted to US dollars and will be used to invest in long-term and primarily US dollar denominated assets, whose related income is expected to be earned over time.

EBITDA is defined as earnings before net interest expense, income taxes, and depreciation and amortization and is a non-GAAP financial measure that is used frequently by companies in the aviation industry as a measure of performance.  Adjusted EBITDA (EBITDA before signing bonuses, employee separation program costs, strategic advisory fees and other items such as foreign exchange gains or losses) is a non-GAAP financial measure used by Chorus as a supplemental financial measure of operational performance.  Management believes Adjusted EBITDA assists investors in comparing Chorus’ performance by excluding items, which it does not believe will occur over the longer-term (such as signing bonuses, employee separation program costs and strategic advisory fees) as well, which items that are non-cash in nature such as foreign exchange gains and losses.

Adjusted EBITDA should not be used as an exclusive measure of cash flow because it does not account for the impact of working capital growth, capital expenditures, debt repayments and other sources and uses of cash, which are disclosed in the statements of cash flows, forming part of Chorus’ financial statements.

Various Financial Measures

Third Quarter Summary
(unaudited)
(expressed in thousands of Canadian dollars)
Three months ended September 30,
2018$2017$Change$Change%
Operating revenue366,696343,68523,0116.7
Operating expenses310,669287,67322,9968.0
Operating income56,02756,01215
Non-operating (expenses) income(2,797)20,208(23,005)(113.8)
Income before income taxes53,23076,220(22,990)(30.2)
Income tax (expense) recovery(9,508)3,085(12,593)(408.2)
Net income43,72279,305(35,583)(44.9)
Add (Deduct) items to get to Adjusted net income(1)
Unrealized foreign exchange gain(13,982)(31,088)17,106(55.0)
Employee separation program1,09858351588.3
(12,884)(30,505)17,621(57.8)
Adjusted net income(2)30,83848,800(17,962)(36.8)
Add (Deduct) items to get to Adjusted EBITDA(1)
Net interest expense13,98711,6322,35520.2
Income tax expense (recovery)9,508(3,085)12,593(408.2)
Depreciation and amortization29,95027,1492,80110.3
Foreign exchange loss (gain)2,598(749)3,347(446.9)
Loss (gain) on disposal of property and equipment194(3)197(6566.7)
56,23734,94421,29360.9
Adjusted EBITDA(2)87,07583,7443,3314.0
(1)These items are excluded because they affect the comparability of our financial results, period-over-period, 
and could potentially distort the analysis of trends in business performance.
(2)This is a non-GAAP measure. 
Year-to-Date Summary
(unaudited)
(expressed in thousands of Canadian dollars)
Nine months ended September 30,
2018$2017$Change$Change%
Operating revenue1,092,531996,16796,3649.7
Operating expenses937,540873,28264,2587.4
Operating income154,991122,88532,10626.1
Non-operating (expenses) income(63,859)32,177(96,036)(298.5)
Income before income taxes91,132155,062(63,930)(41.2)
Income tax expense(26,163)(7,742)(18,421)237.9
Net income64,969147,320(82,351)(55.9)
Add (Deduct) items to get to Adjusted net income(1)
Unrealized foreign exchange loss (gain)16,613(63,226)79,839(126.3)
Foreign exchange gain on cash held for deposit(1,646)1,646100.0
Employee separation program5,1479,365(4,218)(45.0)
21,760(55,507)77,267(139.2)
Adjusted net income(2)86,72991,813(5,084)(5.5)
Add (Deduct) items to get to Adjusted EBITDA(1)
Net interest expense41,44930,17011,27937.4
Income tax expense26,1637,74218,421237.9
Depreciation and amortization89,55771,74717,81024.8
Foreign exchange loss6,1113,0283,083101.8
(Gain) loss on disposal of property and equipment18618421.1
Other(500)(687)187(27.2)
162,966112,18450,78245.3
Adjusted EBITDA(2)249,695203,99745,69822.4
(1)These items are excluded because they affect the comparability of our financial results, period-over-period, 
and could potentially distort the analysis of trends in business performance.
(2)This is a non-GAAP measure.

Forward-Looking Information

This news release should be read in conjunction with Chorus’ unaudited interim condensed and consolidated financial statements for the period ended September 30, 2018, and MD&A dated November 13, 2018, which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and www.chorusaviation.ca

This news release contains ‘forward-looking information’ as defined under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information is identified by the use of terms and phrases such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “may”, “plan”, “predict”, “project”, “will”, “would”, and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions. Such information may involve but is not limited to comments with respect to strategies, expectations, planned operations or future actions. Examples of forward-looking information include the discussion of term sheets for transactions that remain subject to the execution of definitive agreements and can also be found in this news release under the heading “2018 Outlook”, as well as the discussion throughout this news release of Chorus’ expectations for Chorus Aviation Capital’s market potential.

Forward-looking information relates to analyses and other information that are based on forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable and other uncertain events. Forward-looking information, by its nature, is based on assumptions, including those described below, and is subject to important risks and uncertainties. Any forecasts or forward-looking predictions or statements cannot be relied upon due to, amongst other things, external events, changing market conditions and general uncertainties of the business. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information. Other risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in forward-looking information include: the development of circumstances risks relating to Chorus’ economic dependence on and relationship with Air Canada; risks relating to the airline industry (including the international operation of aircraft in developing countries and areas of unrest); risks relating to aircraft leasing (including the financial condition of lessees, availability of aircraft, access to capital, fluctuations in aircraft market values, competition and political risks); the failure of Chorus or any other party to satisfy conditions precedent to the closing of anticipated transactions; energy prices, general industry, market, credit, and economic conditions (including a severe and prolonged economic downturn which could result in reduced payments under the CPA); increased competition affecting Chorus and/or Air Canada; insurance issues and costs; supply issues and costs; the risk of war, terrorist attacks, aircraft incidents and accidents; fraud, cybersecurity attacks or other criminal behaviour by internal or external parties; epidemic diseases, environmental factors or acts of God; changes in demand due to the seasonal nature of Chorus’ business or general economic conditions; the ability to reduce operating costs and employee counts; the ability of Chorus to secure financing; the ability of Chorus to attract and retain the talent required for its existing operations and future growth; the ability of Chorus to remain in good standing under and to renew and/or replace the CPA and other important contracts; employee relations, labour negotiations or disputes; pension issues and costs; currency exchange and interest rates; debt leverage and restrictive covenants contained in debt facilities; uncertainty of dividend payments; managing growth; changes in laws; adverse regulatory developments or proceedings in countries in which Chorus and its subsidiaries operate or will operate; pending and future litigation and actions by third parties. For a further discussion of risks, please refer to Chorus’ Annual Information Form dated February 14, 2018. The statements containing forward-looking information in this discussion represent Chorus’ expectations as of November 14, 2018 and are subject to change after such date. However, Chorus disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities laws.

AirSprint Takes Delivery of Its 8th Cessna Citation Light Jet

November 14, 2018 09:00 ET | Source: AirSprint Inc.

AirSprint's new Cessna Citation CJ3+ (C-GASW) in Wichita, Kansas.
C-GASW is the eighth Cessna Citation Light Jet to join AirSprint’s fractional fleet

CALGARY, Alberta, Nov. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, delivered a second Cessna Citation CJ3+ aircraft to fractional operator AirSprint Inc.

“We are excited to announce the addition of our eighth CJ class aircraft, and second CJ3+, C-GASW,” said James Elian, President and COO of AirSprint. “The combination of range, performance and efficiency has made the Citation CJ3+ very popular with our fractional Owners and we look forward to adding another one later this year.”

Sixteen years ago, AirSprint became Canada’s first fractional jet program with the introduction of the Cessna Citation Excel. Since then, AirSprint has flown Citation aircraft more than 77,000 hours — with a fractional fleet that has included the Excel, XLS, CJ2+ and CJ3+.

“Textron Aviation is proud to expand its relationship with AirSprint with this milestone delivery of yet another Citation CJ3+ to their fleet,” said Rob Scholl, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “The CJ3+ meets the needs of discerning Owners who value its perfect balance of unparalleled reliability, productivity and comfort.”

Today, AirSprint operates the largest — and youngest — fractional fleet of private aircraft in Canada, offering the Cessna Citation CJ2+, Citation CJ3+ and Embraer Legacy 450. With a fleet of 14 aircraft, AirSprint serves Owners from coast-to-coast ranging across Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and the Maritimes.