Air Canada reports December traffic; record load factors for December and full year 2008



    MONTREAL, Jan. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - For the month of December, Air Canada
today reported a record load factor of 81.7 per cent on a consolidated basis
with Jazz, versus 78.8 per cent in December 2007, an increase of 2.9
percentage points. System traffic decreased 6.6 per cent on a capacity
reduction of 9.9 per cent system wide.
    For the full year 2008, load factor was 81.4 per cent on a consolidated
basis with Jazz, a record for the fifth consecutive year, versus 80.6 percent
in 2007, an increase of 0.8 percentage points.
    Air Canada mainline reported a load factor of 82.7 per cent in December
2008 compared to 79.3 per cent in December 2007; an increase of 3.4 percentage
points. The mainline carrier flew 6.2 per cent fewer revenue passenger miles
(RPMs) in December 2008 than in December 2007 on a capacity decrease of 10.0
per cent.
    Jazz, from which Air Canada purchases regional capacity, reported a load
factor of 72.1 per cent, a decrease of 1.4 percentage points from 73.5 per
cent in December 2007. Capacity decreased by 9.1 per cent from December 2007
and the carrier flew 10.8 per cent fewer RPMs than in the previous December.
    "With an 81.4 per cent load factor for the full year, Air Canada and Jazz
reported a fifth consecutive year of record load factors in 2008 and once
again this December we surpassed previous years' records for the month," said
Montie Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer. "These traffic results
reflect effective capacity management that, combined with the decline in fuel
prices, positions Air Canada well to manage through these challenging economic
times. In addition, in December we concluded financing arrangements that could
provide funding of more than half a billion dollars. These agreements
represent significant steps forward in the implementation of our strategy to
improve short term and longer term liquidity during the current economic
downturn."

    Financing Agreements Concluded in December 2008
    -----------------------------------------------

    As previously announced, during the month of December Air Canada
concluded financing arrangements providing funding of up to C$503 million. The
financing arrangements consist of: a secured revolving credit facility of up
to C$100 million with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) with draw
downs being subject to certain conditions; a series of agreements for secured
financings with General Electric Capital Corporation (GECC) and its affiliates
providing up to US$195 million (approximately C$238) upon fulfillment of
certain conditions and completion of certain documents; a secured financing
transaction with Calyon New York Branch and Norddeutsche Landesbank
Girozentrale for a US$78 million (approximately C$95 million) loan maturing in
December 2013; and an agreement with Aeroplan under which it accelerated
approximately C$70 million in payments to Air Canada to December 31, 2008 as
well as provided commercial terms that are beneficial to both parties.

    CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

    This disclosure may include forward-looking statements within the meaning
of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements are based on
assumptions, are subject to important risks and uncertainties and cannot be
relied upon due to, amongst other things, changing external factors and
general uncertainties of the business. Results indicated in forward-looking
statements may differ materially from actual results due to a number of
factors, including without limitation, energy prices, general industry,
market, credit and economic conditions, currency exchange and interest rates,
competition, war, terrorist acts, epidemic diseases, insurance issues and
costs, changes in demand due to the seasonal nature of the business, the
ability to reduce operating costs, employee and labour relations, pension
issues, supply issues, changes in laws, regulatory developments or
proceedings, pending and future litigation and actions by third parties, as
well as the factors (including assumptions) identified in Air Canada's public
disclosure file and accessible through SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Any
forward-looking statements contained in this disclosure represent Air Canada's
expectations as of the date of this disclosure and are subject to change after
such date. Air Canada disclaims any intention or obligation to update or
revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information,
future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities
regulations.

    
                                 AIR CANADA

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             AIR CANADA MAINLINE
                           (Includes Jetz & Tier 3)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            DECEMBER                    YEAR-TO-DATE
                      -------------------------------------------------------
                       2008    2007  Change         2008     2007  Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Traffic
     (RPMs millions)  3,432   3,660    -6.2%      46,416   46,365    +0.1%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Capacity
     (ASMs millions)  4,152   4,614   -10.0%      56,418   57,076    -1.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load Factor        82.7%   79.3%   +3.4 pts     82.3%    81.2%   +1.1 pts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
              RPMs    1,015     995    +2.0%      13,257   13,077    +1.4%
             ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Canada    ASMs    1,231   1,230    +0.1%      16,314   16,054    +1.6%
             ----------------------------------------------------------------
              Load
               Factor  82.5%   80.9%   +1.6 pts     81.3%    81.5%   -0.2 pts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
              RPMs      550     649   -15.3%       6,827    7,561    -9.7%
    U.S.     ----------------------------------------------------------------
     Trans-   ASMs      687     873   -21.3%       8,616    9,652   -10.7%
     border  ----------------------------------------------------------------
              Load
               Factor  80.1%   74.3%   +5.8 pts     79.2%    78.3%   +0.9 pts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
              RPMs      825     899    -8.2%      12,430   12,477    -0.4%
             ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Atlantic  ASMs      963   1,079   -10.8%      14,642   15,013    -2.5%
             ----------------------------------------------------------------
              Load
               Factor  85.7%   83.3%   +2.4 pts     84.9%    83.1%   +1.8 pts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
              RPMs      530     630   -15.9%       8,509    8,688    -2.1%
             ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Pacific   ASMs      609     806   -24.4%      10,076   10,543    -4.4%
             ----------------------------------------------------------------
              Load
               Factor  87.0%   78.2%   +8.8 pts     84.4%    82.4%   +2.0 pts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
              RPMs      512     487    +5.1%       5,393    4,562   +18.2%
    Latin    ----------------------------------------------------------------
     America  ASMs      662     626    +5.8%       6,770    5,814   +16.4%
     & Other ----------------------------------------------------------------
              Load
               Factor  77.3%   77.8%   -0.5 pts     79.7%    78.5%   +1.2 pts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


                               AIR CANADA JAZZ

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   AIR CANADA'S REGIONAL CAPACITY PROVIDER
                                   (JAZZ)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            DECEMBER                    YEAR-TO-DATE
                      -------------------------------------------------------
                       2008    2007  Change         2008     2007  Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Traffic
     (RPMs millions)    297     333   -10.8%       4,096    4,265    -4.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Capacity
     (ASMs millions)    412     453    -9.1%       5,644    5,739    -1.7%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load Factor        72.1%   73.5%   -1.4 pts     72.6%    74.3%   -1.7pts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
              RPMs      202     254   -20.5%       2,954    3,208    -7.9%
             ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Canada    ASMs      270     335   -19.4%       3,885    4,184    -7.1%
             ----------------------------------------------------------------
              Load
               Factor  74.8%   75.8%   -1.0 pts     76.0%    76.7%   -0.7 pts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
              RPMs       95      79   +20.3%       1,142    1,057    +8.0%
    U.S.     ----------------------------------------------------------------
     Trans-   ASMs      142     118   +20.3%       1,759    1,555   +13.1%
     border  ----------------------------------------------------------------
              Load
               Factor  66.9%   66.9%    0.0 pts     64.9%    68.0%   -3.1 pts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                 AIR CANADA
                                      &
                               AIR CANADA JAZZ

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   COMBINED
                       (AIR CANADA MAINLINE AND JAZZ)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            DECEMBER                    YEAR-TO-DATE
                      -------------------------------------------------------
                       2008    2007  Change         2008     2007  Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Traffic
     (RPMs millions)  3,279   3,993    -6.6%      50,512   50,630    -0.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Capacity
     (ASMs millions)  4,564   5,067    -9.9%      62,062   62,815    -1.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load Factor        81.7%   78.8%   +2.9 pts     81.4%    80.6%   +0.8 pts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
              RPMs    1,217   1,249    -2.6%      16,211   16,285    -0.5%
             ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Canada    ASMs    1,501   1,565    -4.1%      20,199   20,238    -0.2%
             ----------------------------------------------------------------
              Load
               Factor  81.1%   79.8%   +1.3 pts     80.3%    80.5%   -0.2 pts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
              RPMs      645     728   -11.4%       7,969    8,618    -7.5%
    U.S.     ----------------------------------------------------------------
     Trans-   ASMs      829     991   -16.3%      10,375   11,207    -7.4%
     border  ----------------------------------------------------------------
              Load
               Factor  77.8%   73.5%   +4.3 pts     76.8%    76.9%   -0.1 pts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
              RPMs    1,867   2,016    -7.4%      26,332   25,727    +2.4%
    Interna- ----------------------------------------------------------------
     tional   ASMs    2,234   2,511   -11.0%      31,488   31,370    +0.4%
             ----------------------------------------------------------------
              Load
               Factor  83.6%   80.3%   +3.3 pts     83.6%    82.0%   +1.6 pts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    %SEDAR: 00001324EF




For further information:

For further information: Isabelle Arthur (Montréal), (514) 422-5788;
Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto), (416) 263-5576; Angela Mah (Vancouver), (604)
270-5741; Internet: aircanada.com


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