The Motley Fool

Now Is the Time to Pounce on Air Canada

Air Canada (TSX:AC)(TSX:AC.B) has been on a roll in November and December as the company hopes to finish the year on a positive note.

The airline has added flights to and from its Canadian home in a bid to become more globalized. As of December 17, Air Canada has a new non-stop service that travels between Montreal and Puerto Rico. Every week, one flight will go from Quebec to the U.S. territory as a part of a seasonal offering from the company, which already has a Toronto-to-Puerto Rico flight twice a week. Flights from Copenhagen, Denmark to Toronto will also launch this coming June.

This spring, Air Canada is opening itself up to more U.S. cities in a bid to expand its presence in North America outside Canada. As of May, the company’s Toronto hub will offer flights to Memphis, San Antonio, and Savanna, Ga., marking three new destinations for the airline. The company is also adding a service between Montreal and Dallas/Fort Worth, as well as between Vancouver and Denver around the same time. Seasonal flights between Vancouver to Phoenix will become a year-round trip.

The airline’s momentum moving into next year has been bolstered by a touch of luxury in Toronto. In honour of the country’s iconic trees, the company has launched the Maple Leaf Lounge at the Montreal–Trudeau airport. Air Canada and Star Alliance members will be eligible to enjoy the services of the environment, which helps to reduce stress while offering the country’s iconic scenery as well as top-of-the-line artwork.

Western travelers have been switching over to Air Canada in recent months as a Vancouver International Airport confirmed that Air Canada passengers make up the bulk of travelers in British Columbia. About 50% of the airport’s passengers are with the airline, helping it to register record figures for Vancouver passengers.

In Vancouver, the airline’s seat capacity has risen by 18% over the last 12 months, following a nine-year span in which Air Canada’s passenger total declined by 0.9% every year. There is plenty to look forward to with this company as it has revamped its technology using Softvoyage’s enterprise solution services. The company’s website for travel agents and consumers has been rebuild on aircanadavacations.com, helping to make the site more user friendly.

Having loud children and infants can be hassle on any flight, and the airline is addressing this with the launch of Air Canada Altitude Skyriders, which allows parents to enter their kids into a unique club with luggage tags and a log book. Children can earn printable badges the more they travel, helping to make their journey more enjoyable.

Late last month, the company announced a three-year partnership with tourism marketing organizations Destination Canada that will help promote the country’s touristic attractions. Simultaneously, the move will promote Air Canada’s services, helping to draw in even more passengers that will contribute to the company’s never-ending growth.

Additionally, the airline’s services in the U.S. continues to impress as the company was ranked second in the “food” category behind Virgin America, according to a ranking determined by Hunter College researchers.

Fifteen firms covering Air Canada have given the stock an average recommendation of “buy” with a one-year target price of $16.15. The company has a market cap of $3.98 billion with shares trading at $14.22 apiece. Air Canada stock has nearly doubled over the last year, rising from $6.81 a share a year ago.

Air Canada has plenty of irons in the fire, ensuring that the company is set for a bright future. Between its flight expansion and its initiatives, traveling via the airline will be more convenient and comfortable for passengers. Investing in the nation’s hottest airline would be a wise move looking ahead.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Karl Utermohlen has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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