It might not be as entertaining as a dancing cockatoo or a skateboarding bulldog, but the recently appointed president and CEO of Air Canada, Calin Rovinescu, is hoping that a recent appearance on youtube.com will help spread the word about his plans for the embattled airline.
The economic reality the Montreal-based company faces is worse than SARS, 9/11 and past recessions, Mr. Rovinescu said in his seven-minute video interview with Priscille Leblanc, Air Canada vice president of corporate communications.
Air Canada posted a C$400 million (US$355.5 million) net loss in the first quarter of 2009, compared with the 2008 first-quarter loss of C$288 billion, according to its first-quarter financial report.
The company's C$9.7 billion pension plan is about 67% funded and has a shortfall of C$3.2 billion, as of Dec. 31, compared with a shortfall of C$1.17 billion at the end of 2007, according to its 2008 annual report.
Mr. Rovinescu said in the video that his top priority is to maintain the pension plan and keep the company out of bankruptcy.
To do that we are going to need the support of the employees, the retirees, the unions, government, regulators this requires a lot of cooperation, Mr. Rovinescu said.
I have not come here to put this company into bankruptcy, and it's my intention to find ways to manage around this current environment, he said.