Air Canada remains determined to succeed
Despite a relatively tough start to the year, Air Canada (AC) remains unshaken in its resolve to make 2020 a success for the company.
Commenting in a press release, Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO, said that, whilst the on-going grounding of AC’s Boeing 737-MAX fleet and the continued economic constraints caused by Coronavirus by bumps in the road, the company could endure.
“Our strong balance sheet, globe-spanning network that diversifies our revenue sources, brand strength as North America's Best Airline as rated by Skytrax, young fleet, dedicated and talented employees and nimble management team equip us to respond effectively to any challenges that come our way.”
"The agility and consistency that we displayed in 2019 gives me confidence that we will successfully execute on the several key opportunities now before us,” he stated.
Looking after its people
One of the biggest employers in the Montreal area - AC employs almost 10,000 people, from C-level executives down - the company has frequently been lauded for the high-quality care of its staff.
Voted one of the ‘Top 100 Employers in Canada’ seven years running, as well as one of the most diverse and most engaging, AC’s reputation ensures that it is a popular career choice for those wishing to enter the aviation sector (the company hired 7,000 people in 2019).
“As a progressive, employee-focused company, we continually invest in programs to support and engage people at work with additional opportunities to become involved in supporting local communities and causes,” said Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Exec VP at AC.
“We see our culture as a competitive advantage which enables Air Canada to remain an exceptional place to work and to continue attracting the best people in every part of our organization.”
Looking after its customers
Not just a renowned employer, AC is also dedicated to employing the latest technologies to ensure its customers received the best, most convenient service available.
In early February, the company announced that it was introducing PayPal as an option for purchasing tickets on its website. With over 300 million users globally, PayPal is a widely preferred method for consumers purchasing online.
"We're excited to add Air Canada—our first airline partner in Canada—to a growing fleet of airlines across the globe that leverage our global e-commerce platform to expand their reach," said Paul Parisi, President of PayPal Canada.
"Our two companies share the same goal to provide a great checkout experience for travellers, so they spend less time buying tickets online and more time enjoying their trip."
For more information on business topics in Canada, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Canada.
How innovation is transforming government
According to Washington Technology’s Top 100 list, Leidos is the largest IT provider to the government. But as Lieutenant General William J. Bender explains, “that barely scratches the surface” of the company’s portfolio and drive for innovation.
Bender, who spent three and a half decades in the military, including a stint as the U.S. Air Force’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), has seen action in the field and in technology during that time, and it runs in the family. Bender’s son is an F-16 instructor pilot. So it stands to reason Bender Senior intends to ensure a thriving technological base for the U.S. Air Force. “What we’re really doing here is transforming the federal government from the industrial age into the information age and doing it hand-in-hand with industry,” he says.
The significant changes that have taken place in the wider technology world are precisely the capabilities Leidos is trying to pilot the U.S. Air Force through. It boils down to developing cyberspace as a new domain of battle, globally connected and constantly challenged by the threat of cybersecurity attacks.
“We recognize the importance of the U.S. Air Force’s missions,” says Bender, “and making sure they achieve those missions. We sit side-by-side with the air combat command, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance infrastructure across the Air Force. There are multiple large programs where the Air Force is partnering with Leidos to ensure their mission is successfully accomplished 24/7/365. In this company, we’re all in on making sure there’s no drop in capability.”
That partnership relies on a shared understanding of delivering successful national security outcomes, really understanding the mission at hand, and Leidos’ long-standing relationship of over 50 years with the federal government.
To look at where technology is going, Bender thinks it is important to look back at the last 10 to 15 years. “What we’ve seen is a complete shift in how technology gets developed,” he says. “It used to be that the government invested aggressively in research and development, and some of those technologies, once they were launched in a military context, would find their way into the commercial space. That has shifted almost a hundred percent now, where the bulk of the research and development dollars and the development of tech-explicit technologies takes place in the commercial sector.”
“There’s a long-standing desire to adopt commercial technology into defense applications, but it’s had a hard time crossing the ‘valley of death’ [government slang for commercial technologies and partnerships that fail to effectively transition into government missions]. Increasingly we’re able to do that. We need to look at open architectures and open systems for a true plug-and-play capability. Instead of buying it now and trying to guess what it’s going to be used for 12 years from now, it should be evolving iteratively.”