Calin Rovinescu

University of Ottawa Air Canada Star Alliance
Calin Rovinescu

Calin Rovinescu 2015.jpg
Rovinescu in 2015
BornSeptember 16, 1955
Bucharest, Romania
Alma materMcGill University (CEGEP (DEC), 1974)
Université de Montréal (LL.L, 1978)
University of Ottawa (LL.B, 1980)
OccupationPresident and CEO of Air Canada

Calin Rovinescu CM (born September 16, 1955), is the president and chief executive officer of Canada's largest airline, Air Canada, having led the company since April 2009.

Early life and education

Rovinescu was born in Bucharest, Romania. He immigrated to Canada with his parents and sister when he was five years old.[1] In 1974, he received his CEGEP (DEC) from McGill University. In 1980, Rovinescu graduated from the University of Ottawa where he received his LL.B. In 1978, he graduated from the Université de Montréal where he received his LL.L.[2]

Rovinescu has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from six institutions: Université de Montréal,[3] University of Ottawa,[4] Concordia University in Montreal,[5] University of Windsor,[6] Pepperdine University in California,[7] and Politehnica University of Bucharest.[8]


Before joining Air Canada, Rovinescu was the managing partner of Montreal law firm Stikeman Elliott LLP, and for over 20 years practiced in the areas of corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. While a lawyer at Stikeman Elliott LLP, Rovinescu served as lead external counsel on Air Canada's privatization and public offering in 1988 and continued advising the airline on significant transactions and events thereafter.[9] He is a member of the Quebec and Ontario Bar Associations.[10]

Rovinescu first joined Air Canada in 2000 as its Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy[2] and served as its Chief Restructuring Officer during its 2003–2004 restructuring.[9] Between 2004 and returning to Air Canada in 2009, Rovinescu was a co-founder and principal of independent investment bank Genuity Capital Markets,[10] which subsequently merged with Canaccord Capital to form Canaccord Genuity Group.

Rovinescu was elected chairman of the Star Alliance chief executive board,[11] the controlling body of Star Alliance, the world's largest global airline alliance, and served in that role from 2012 to 2016.[2] He is also a member of the board of governors of the International Air Transport Association,[12] a global trade association representing some 240 airlines. He served as chairman of IATA from June 2014 to June 2015.[2]

He also serves on the board of directors of BCE Inc., Canada's largest telecom and media company[13] as well as on the board of directors[14] of the Business Council of Canada (BCC), an organization composed of the CEOs of Canada's largest enterprises, representing all sectors of the Canadian economy.

Rovinescu is broadly credited with having saved Air Canada from bankruptcy and having set it on a course for sustainable profitability, better labour relations and continued success.[15] In the ten years since his appointment, Air Canada's shares have appreciated by approximately 4,000%[16] and the airline has achieved record revenues, record profitability and carried a record number of passengers.[17] It has also expanded dramatically and now serves all six inhabited continents. During his tenure, Air Canada was recognized by Skytrax as the Best Airline in North America in seven of nine years, and as the only four star network carrier in North America.[18] In addition, it won numerous other awards including Air Transport World's 2018 Eco Airline of the Year[19] and is one of Canada's Top Employers.[20]

The Globe and Mail's Report on Business magazine named Rovinescu Canada's best CEO of 2013.[9] In addition, in 2016, he was named Canada's Outstanding CEO of the Year,[21] the country's preeminent award for chief executives, founded in 1990 to identify and recognize exemplary leadership and achievement in business.

In 2018, Flight Global presented Rovinescu with the Global Executive Leadership Award at the 2018 Airline Strategy Awards in London, England. He was recognized for his "strong and unwavering leadership of Air Canada where he devised a complete restructuring plan that has delivered huge success for the airline.[22]

Also in 2018, Rovinescu was recognized with the CEO lifetime achievement Award at the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) expo in Boston, and named the first CEO from the Americas to be presented with the Award by APEX.[23]

Rovinescu was appointed a member of the Order of Canada[24] in 2018 for promoting the associated charitable causes and organizations of Canada's largest airline, and for his leadership in spearheading humanitarian relief following several natural disasters.[25] On November 9, 2015, he was named 14th Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, replacing former Governor General Michaëlle Jean.[26]


  1. ^ "Air Canada introduces direct flight between Montreal and Bucharest". September 29, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "Air Canada Corporate Executives". Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  3. ^ "L'Université de Montréal décerne 5 doctorats honorifiques à des personnalités d'exception". 26 April 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Calin Rovinescu". Office of the President. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  5. ^ Concordia awards honorary doctorates to 4 distinguished Canadians,
  6. ^ "University to honour eight with honorary degrees during Spring Convocation". DailyNews. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Honorary Doctorate Recipients – Pepperdine Graziadio Business School". Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  8. ^ AGERPRES. "Preşedintele Air Canada – Doctor Honoris Causa al Universităţii Politehnica București". Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Globe and Mail, Why this airline chief is Canada's best CEO of 2013
  10. ^ a b Flight Global, Calin Rovinescu – Air Canada
  11. ^ Financial Post, Air Canada chief gets key role at global airline group Star Alliance
  12. ^ Financial Post, Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu named new chairman of IATA
  13. ^ "BCE nominates Monique Leroux and Calin Rovinescu to its Board of Directors; Director Gordon Nixon to be appointed Chair of the Board". Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  14. ^ CCCE, Board Members
  15. ^ Magazine, Financial Post (11 November 2014). "How Calin Rovinescu saved Air Canada — and set it on a smoother course – Financial Post". Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  16. ^ Air Canada has set higher financial expectations through 2021
  17. ^ "Air Canada profit climbs on record passenger numbers, new routes". Retrieved 9 May 2019 – via The Globe and Mail.
  18. ^ Air Canada named Best Airline in North America for second consecutive year,
  19. ^ "2018 Winners". Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  20. ^ "Top Employer: Air Canada". Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  21. ^ Magazine, Financial Post (1 November 2016). "Canada's outstanding CEO of the year: Air Canada's Calin Rovinescu – Financial Post". Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  22. ^ "Airline Strategy Awards recognise Air Canada and AerCap chiefs". 15 July 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  23. ^ Group, Travelweek (25 September 2018). "Air Canada CEO honoured at APEX EXPO – Travelweek". Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  24. ^ General, Office of the Secretary to the Governor (29 June 2018). "Order of Canada Appointments". The Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  25. ^ "8 Concordians among newest Order of Canada honourees". Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  26. ^ "Reaching higher altitudes with new chancellor Calin Rovinescu". Gazette. Retrieved 9 May 2019.