(Montreal) Freed from government aid restrictions during the pandemic, Air Canada President and CEO Michael Rousseau’s compensation has more than tripled in 2022.

Mr. Rousseau earned total compensation of $12.4 million in 2022, compared to $3.7 million in 2021, according to regulatory filings released by the airline.

This increase is largely due to Air Canada’s withdrawal from the Large Employer Emergency Credit (LEEC) program. This federal aid was accompanied by a cap on the compensation of senior executives.

In November 2021, the company canceled some of its credit facilities under the CUGE. “Compensation for 2022 reflects Air Canada’s return to its usual market-based compensation practices,” the company explains.

In 2021, the salary of the big boss of Air Canada was thus limited to $500,000, compared to his official salary of 1.2 million. His long-term incentive plan was capped at $500,000 rather than $5.6 million.

In addition to his $1.3 million salary, Mr. Rousseau was entitled to $10.1 million in the form of profit-sharing, stock-based awards and stock options. The value of the commitments to his retirement plan reaches 1 million.

Total compensation for Air Canada’s top five executives is $23.1 million, up from $8.3 million in 2021.

The Human Resources Committee of the Board of Directors believes that Air Canada is on track to resume operations following the shock of COVID-19 and health restrictions. In 2022, the company recorded an operating loss of 187 million, compared to a shortfall of 3.1 billion in the same period last year.

Air Canada reports that 15% of its directors are fluent in French. She points out that five of the six members of her executive committee are bilingual and that Mr. Rousseau “continued to respect his personal commitment to learn French”.

The airline will hold its annual meeting on May 12.