Air Canada says lost baggage rates and flight cancellations are getting better

Vytautas Kielaitis /

Good news for Air Canada (ADH2) passengers. The airline has said efforts to reduce disruption are paying off, with flight delays, cancellations and baggage handling all showing improvement.   

Like other airlines, Air Canada (ADH2) has been forced to cut back on its planned flying this summer after it became apparent that the aviation industry was unable to cope with the huge bounce-back in demand for travel following the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Air Canada (ADH2) continues to work with its partners to address the issues disrupting the air transport ecosystem in Canada,” the flag carrier said in an update on August 17, 2022. “Evidence of the success of these joint efforts is a marked decrease in delays and cancellations for airlines, contributing to increased overall stability in Air Canada (ADH2)’s operations.”  

The airline said there was a 77% reduction in the number of canceled flights during the week of August 8, 2022 compared with the week of June 27, 2022. In addition, there was a 48% reduction in flights experiencing a delay of more than one hour. 

Flight delays overall are reducing, the carrier added. The average arrival delay during the week of June 27 was 28 minutes longer than the same week in 2019, but as of the week of August 8, this had improved to 12 minutes.   

The carrier said the biggest improvement was in baggage handling.  In the week of June 27, 2022, mishandling rates were 2.5 times what they were in 2019. By the week of August 8, 2022, the airline, which handles more than 650,000 bags per week, said it was back to a baggage handling success rate of 98%, similar to 2019 levels.  

“At Air Canada (ADH2), we know how much our customers value travel and their reliance on us to transport them safely, comfortably and without disruption,” Michael Rousseau, president and chief executive of Air Canada (ADH2), said in the update. “This is always our goal and we share with them their disappointment that, coming out of the pandemic, the global industry faltered due to the unprecedented challenges of restarting after a two-year, virtual shutdown.” 

Rousseau said there was more to be done: “While I am very satisfied with the progress to date, and I thank our employees for their unrelenting efforts, we all continue to work hard on behalf of our customers to complete our recovery.” 

Overall, Air Canada (ADH2) said it expects to fly 79% of its pre-pandemic capacity in summer 2022. 

For the period June 27 to August 14, Air Canada (ADH2), which operates nearly 1,100 flights a day on average, carried approximately 6.4 million customers, It currently has approximately 34,000 employees compared to 34,700 prior to the pandemic, but is continuing to hire new employees.  

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