Air Canada reported a bigger quarterly loss as the airline cut fares to fill seats in long-haul leisure markets.

Load factor, which measures how effectively the airline filled seats, fell to 79.9 percent in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 from 81.1 per cent a year earlier.

The carrier’s fuel cost per litre rose 1.4 per cent.

However, the country’s largest airline said its adjusted cost per available seat mile (CASM), excluding fuel costs and unusual items, fell 6.1 per cent.

The company’s net loss widened to $179 million, or 66 cents per share, in the latest quarter from $116 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier.

The Montreal-based airline’s revenue rose 7.6 per cent to $3.43 billion.

© Thomson Reuters 2017