Letter from Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO: The Spirit of Giving
Dec 01, 2019

Boarding an aircraft usually heralds a new adventure, brings us closer to family and friends or advances that important business deal. Sometimes, though, a flight might be less eagerly anticipated, such as when people are travelling for medical care, particularly for a sick child.

We recognize that travel for health reasons can impose burdens. So, Air Canada is starting the Season of Giving with a matching-mile week for our Hospital Transportation Program. Miles donated by customers will be matched by Aeroplan and made available to 15 pediatric hospitals across Canada to help sick children and their parents obtain vital treatment unavailable locally.

Keeping the spirit of giving alive year-round at our airline is the role of the Air Canada Foundation.  It supports programs to improve the well-being of children, alleviate child poverty and grant wishes for seriously ill children. Established in 2012, the Foundation has developed partnerships with leading children’s charities across Canada and become an effective fundraiser, including through an annual golf tournament (where this year two inspiring youths joined me – Kaleb, left, and Stone, right).

This holiday season, I am encouraged that there is growing awareness of the responsibility we all bear for one another. At Air Canada, we seek to encourage this. For example, the Foundation’s Volunteer Involvement Program supports employees active in charities, including by donating tickets for fundraising for causes close to them. We also engage employees in our humanitarian efforts, recently organizing volunteers to pack emergency kits for regions ravaged by Hurricane Dorian.

Shared responsibility applies not only to individuals but to corporations, too, where we are also seeing evolution. The Business Council of Canada, to which I belong, made developing our country’s human potential central to its recent report on Canada’s economic future. This summer in the United States, the Business Roundtable, made up of CEOs of major corporations, affirmed that businesses must heed the interests of all stakeholders and not just those of shareholders.

During this holiday season, it is important that each of us reflect upon the power we have to give. To learn more about Air Canada’s efforts or to join us in giving, I invite you to visit the Air Canada Foundation page at aircanada.com/foundation.

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 December 2019 issue.