At Air Canada, the new year reminds us that constant transformation is the key to moving onward and upward.
January is the month of resolutions, where we vow to get to the gym or skip desserts, all in the name of self-improvement. But while for many of us that resolve soon dissipates, Air Canada’s commitment to self-improvement is hard-wired and year-round.
Transformation is a core business principle that has kept us moving on our stair climber on its upward-trajectory setting for 10 years. Our mantra is continuous improvement, because we know that only by constantly enhancing consumer choice, our services and our products can we retain our customers’ loyalty and continue to grow our airline.
Our international capacity has expanded by more than 50 percent in recent years. We have invested in excess of $12 billion on aircraft, with the next addition, our new Airbus A220s, arriving later this year. Skytrax has named us the Best Airline in North America for seven of nine years, and we have introduced a range of new amenities, including next-generation inflight entertainment, onboard Wi-Fi and a suite of premium products under the Air Canada Signature brand.
Supporting this has been a renewed commitment to training through our Flight Path program, with its focus on fulfilling the customer promise. In 2019, we have more training programs planned, all aimed at customer-service excellence.
Another means by which we are changing is through new uses of data, including predictive analytics and AI, to not only meet but anticipate customer needs. In 2019, we will implement our new Passenger Service System, a massive IT program that, among other things, will equip us to better assist customers. Building on this will be a new loyalty program in 2020, which will draw on the latest in AI, data management and mobile technology.
Elsewhere, a planned “Smart Hub” for Air Canada Cargo in Toronto will use state-of-the-art material handling and warehouse management solutions to create a best-in-class experience for customers and employees. At Air Canada Vacations, digital transformation continues apace, with a new reservation system and customer-friendly website hotel tab to be followed this winter by a brand new web platform.
Through transformation, we are building the Air Canada of the future. This is because our customers’ needs are ever-changing, so our airline must be changing too.
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 January 2019 issue.