Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Feb 03, 2020

Quebec is flying high with Air Canada


In February 2016, when Air Canada opted to purchase 45 C-Series – now Airbus A-220 – aircraft with options on 30 more, it gave a significant $6 billion list-price boost to the Quebec economy.

But, at the recent roll-out of the first AC A-220 at Montreal-Trudeau Airport, the airline pointed out that its contribution to the province’s bottom line is much greater than that.

According to accounting firms KPMG and InterVISTAS, Air Canada’s $2.5 billion operating expenses tab in Quebec contributed more than $5 billion to the GDP in 2017, while the overall economic impact amounts to $10 billion and 45,000 jobs.

Airbus isn’t the only aerospace company in the province to benefit from AC’s presence. In 2017, the carrier awarded a 10-year, $500 million contract to AAR Corp. for the maintenance of its 125 narrow-body A-320 and Embraer E-190 aircraft, sustaining 350 specialized jobs at the AAR facility in Trois-Rivieres.

Additionally, the carrier says it’s a major catalyst in the development of Quebec’s aerospace cluster as a customer of companies such as Airbus, AJ Walter, Avianor, CASP Aerospace, and M1 Composites.

It’s also a founding partner of Montreal-based SCALE.AI – an artificial intelligence “supercluster” whose primary objective is to boost economic development through the faster adoption and integration of AI, in order to establish Canada as a global AI development hub.

A company backgrounder points out that AC’s headquarters have been located in Montreal since 1949 and that all the members of the C-suite executive committee reporting directly to CEO Calin Rovinescu reside in Montreal. Additionally, more than 2,000 people are employed at the Dorval head office alone.

Along with its regional partners, Air Canada employs a total of 10,000 people in Quebec, out of a total of 36,000 worldwide and, since 2013, AC has created 2,600 jobs in the province.

The company says it has strategically developed Montreal-Trudeau as an international gateway; expanding its route network with the addition of 40 new routes since 2012, including Shanghai, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Casablanca, Lyon, Bucharest, Dallas, Houston, Sao Paulo, Bordeaux, and Raleigh. This year, it plans to launch service to Bogota, Seattle and Toulouse.

As a result, Air Canada boasts that Montreal is now one of the 50 best-connected cities in the world, and, in 2018, it served 10 million customers at Trudeau – an increase of 100% over the 2008 figure.