UPDATE 1-Air Canada’s quarterly loss narrows as travel demand returns

(Adds CEO quote, details on cash burn)

July 23 (Reuters) – Air Canada reported a smaller second-quarter loss on Friday, as rising vaccination rates and easing restrictions aided a rebound in travel demand.

Canada will allow fully vaccinated U.S. tourists to enter the country from Aug. 9, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced an unprecedented 16-month ban.

“The elimination of the quarantine period for fully vaccinated returning Canadians and the removal of other travel restrictions announced in June led to a significant increase in bookings,” said Chief Executive Officer Michael Rousseau.

With global travel restrictions easing, Air Canada earlier this month announced its international summer schedule, resuming 17 routes and 11 destinations from its hubs.

The Canadian carrier posted net cash burn of about C$8 million per day during the quarter and forecast cash burn of between C$3 million and C$5 million per day in the third quarter.

The airline’s net loss was C$1.17 billion, or C$3.31 per share, in the quarter ended June 30, compared with a loss of C$1.75 billion, or C$6.44 per share, a year earlier.

Its operating revenue rose 58.8% to C$837 million in the quarter. Analysts on average expected a revenue of C$848.2 million, according to Refinitiv data. (Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru and Allison Lampert in Montreal; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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