Letter from Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO: And the winner is …
Aug 01, 2018

With our country next door to the United States – the world’s largest air transport market and the home of its largest airlines - we face fierce competition each day. In vying for the same global customers, then, we were delighted that Air Canada has been named Best Airline, North America, in the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2018.

It is the second consecutive year and the seventh time in nine years that Air Canada has won this honour from Skytrax, whose annual awards are universally recognized as the industry benchmark - our Academy Awards. Such high regard derives from the fact that Skytrax surveys approximately 20 million flyers drawn from over 100 nationalities and considers 50 distinct elements of the entire journey, from the first click on an airline's website to baggage pickup at the arrival terminal.

Because the Skytrax Awards rely on direct customer experience, our continued success is due to the hard work of our people and the elevated service they deliver. The Skytrax Award really belongs to our 30,000 employees, and we have made substantial investments in training, tools and award-winning new uniforms so they can stay on top.

This includes spending $10 billion on renewing our fleet with the most modern aircraft, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the 737 MAX and, next year, the new Airbus A220-300 (formerly the Bombardier CSeries). Other investments have kept us in the forefront of customer comfort - we were the first North American airline to offer lie-flat suites on wide-body aircraft: fleetwide, and the first with a separate Premium Economy cabin - and this spring we launched Air Canada Signature Service.

Elsewhere, we are committing significant resources to new Maple Leaf Lounges and leading-edge conveniences, with new mobile technology and on-board Wi-Fi systems. To further improve customer care, we have undertaken a major, two-year project to replace our computer passenger service system - the equivalent of a heart transplant in our industry.

Being Canadian, we take special pride in consistently being named the Best Airline in North America. It is a title we jealously guard and aspire to protect. But our sights are trained higher: on establishing ourselves as a leading global carrier. And we are always mindful that getting there requires taking ever­better care of our customers, the ultimate judges of our performance.

Calin’s column appears every month in enRoute Magazine, Air Canada’s award-winning in-flight magazine found onboard all Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express flights. This edition is from the August 2018 issue.