Saturday, January 15, 2011

Air Canada

Air Canada
Founded11 April 1936
(as Trans-Canada Airlines)
  • Calgary International Airport
  • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • Vancouver International Airport
Focus cities
  • Edmonton International Airport
  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport
  • Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
Frequent-flyer programAeroplan
Airport loungeMaple Leaf Lounge
AllianceStar Alliance
  • Air Canada Cargo (operating division)
  • Air Canada Jetz (operating division)
  • Air Canada Vacations
Fleet size204 (+37 orders) 
Company sloganGO FAR
HeadquartersMontreal, Canada
Key people
Air Canada (TSX: AC.A, AC.B) is the flag carrier and largest airline of Canada. The airline, founded in 1936, provides scheduled and charter air transport for passengers and cargo to 178 destinations worldwide. It is the world's eighth largest passenger airline by number of destinations, and the airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, an alliance of 26 member airlines formed in 1997. Air Canada's largest hub is Toronto Pearson International Airport, located in Mississauga, Ontario, while its corporate headquarters are located in Montreal, Quebec. The airline's parent company is the publicly traded firm ACE Aviation Holdings. Air Canada had passenger revenues of CA$9.7 billion in 2008.
Canada's national airline originated from the Canadian federal government's 1936 creation of Trans-Canada Airlines (TCA), which began operating its first transcontinental flight routes in 1938. In 1965, TCA was renamed Air Canada following government approval. Following the 1980s deregulation of the Canadian airline market, the airline was privatized in 1988. In 2001, Air Canada acquired its largest rival, Canadian Airlines. In 2006, 34 million people flew with Air Canada as the airline celebrated its 70th anniversary.
Air Canada operates a fleet of Airbus A330, Boeing 767, and Boeing 777 wide-body jetliners on long-haul routes, and uses Airbus A320 family aircraft, including the A319, A320, and A321 variations and Embraer E170/E190 family aircraft on short-haul routes. The carrier's operating divisions include Air Canada Cargo and Air Canada Jetz. Its subsidiary, Air Canada Vacations, provides vacation packages to over 90 destinations. Together with its regional partners, the airline operates on average more than 1,370 scheduled flights daily.


Trans-Canada Airlines

Lockheed Model 10A Electra "CF-TCC" inTrans-Canada Air Lines livery at theWestern Canada Aviation Museum
Air Canada's predecessor, Trans-Canada Airlines (TCA), was created by legislation of the federal government as a subsidiary of Canadian National Railway (CNR) on 11 April 1936. The newly created Department of Transport under Minister C. D. Howe desired an airline, under government control, to link cities on the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast. Using $5 million in government seed money, two Lockheed Model 10 Electras and one Boeing Stearman biplane were purchased from Canadian Airways. Experienced airline executives from United Airlines and American Airlines were brought in.

Passenger operations began on 1 September 1937, with an Electra carrying two passengers and mail from Vancouver to Seattle, a $14.20 round trip. On 1 July 1938, TCA hired its first flight attendants. Transcontinental routes from Montreal to Vancouver began on 1 April 1939, using 12 Lockheed Model 14 Super Electras and six Lockheed Model 18 Lodestars. By January 1940 the airline had grown to about 500 employees.

Trans-Canada Air Lines Lockheed 14H2 in 1938

In 1942, Canadian Pacific Airlines suggested merging with TCA. Prime Minister Mackenzie King rejected the proposal and introduced legislation regulating TCA as the only airline in Canada allowed to provide transcontinental flights. With the increase in air travel after World War II, CP Air was granted one coast-to-coast flight, and a few international routes.
Originally headquartered in Winnipeg, which was also the site of the national maintenance base, the federal government moved the headquarters to Montreal in 1949; the maintenance base later also moved east. With the development of the ReserVec in 1953, TCA became the first airline in the world to use a computer reservation system with remote terminals.
By 1964, TCA had grown to become Canada's national airline, and in 1964 Jean Chrétien submitted a private member's bill to change the name of the airline from Trans-Canada Airlines to Air Canada. This bill failed, but it was later resubmitted and passed, with the name change taking effect on 1 January 1965.

1970s: early years

1 Place Ville-Marie, which previously housed Air Canada's headquarters
During the 1970s, Air Canada operated with government regulations ensuring its dominance over domestic regional carriers and rival CP Air. Short-haul carriers were restricted to one of five regions where they could operate, and could not compete directly with Air Canada and CP Air. CP Air itself was subject to capacity limits on intercontinental flights, and restricted from domestic operations. Air Canada's fares were also subject to regulation by the government.

In the late 1970s, with reorganization at CNR, Air Canada became an independent Crown corporation. Passage of the Air Canada Act of 1978 ensured that the carrier would compete on a more equal footing with rival regional airlines and CP Air, and ended the government's direct regulatory control over Air Canada's routings, fares, and services. The act also transferred ownership of the carrier from Canadian National Railway to a subsidiary of the national government. Deregulation of the Canadian airline market, under the new National Transportation Act, 1987 officially opened the airline market in Canada to equal competition.The carrier's fleet expansion saw the acquisition of Boeing 727, Boeing 747, and Lockheed Tristar jetliners.

Air Canada Boeing 747-200 in 1964-1990s livery

With new fleet expenditures outpacing earnings, Air Canada officials indicated that the carrier would need additional sources of capital to fund its modernisation. By 1985, the Canadian government was indicating a willingness to privatise both Canadian National Railways and Air Canada. In 1988 Air Canada was privatised, and 43% of its shares are sold on the public market, with the initial public offering completed in October of that year. By this time, its long-haul rival CP Air had become Canadian Airlines International following its acquisition by Pacific Western Airlines.
On 7 December 1987, Air Canada became the first airline in the world to have a fleet-wide non-smoking policy. and in 1989 became completely privatised. The successful privatisation effort was aided by a public relations effort led by company president Claude I. Taylor and chief executive officer Pierre J. Jeanniot.

1990s: strategic changes

1994-2004 livery on a Boeing 767-300ER
IIn the early 1990s, Air Canada encountered financial difficulties as the airline industry slumped in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War. In response the airline restructured its management, hiring former Delta Air Lines executive Hollis L. Harris as its CEO. Harris restructured the airline's operations, reduced management positions, moved the corporate headquarters to Dorval Airport, and sold the enRoute card business to Diners Club in 1992. By 1994, Air Canada had returned to profitability. The same year also saw the carrier winning route access to fly from Canada to the new Kansai Airport in Osaka, Japan.

In 1995, taking advantage of a new U.S.-Canada open skies agreement, Air Canada added 30 new transborder routes. In May 1997, Air Canada became a founding member of the Star Alliance, with the airline launching code-shares with several of the alliance's members. The second half of the 1990s saw the airline earn consistent profits, totaling $1 billion for the 1997 to 1999 period.
On 2 September 1998 pilots for Air Canada launched the company's first pilots' strike,demanding higher wages. At the end of 1999 the Canadian government relaxed some of the aviation regulations, aimed at creating a consolidation of the Canadian airline industry. That year, American Airlines launched a takeover bid of ailing rival Canadian Airlines, spurring Air Canada to submit a competing offer for its largest rival.

Boeing 777-300ER C-FIVS "Olympic Mural" lands at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport

2000s: merger and reorganization
In January 2001 Air Canada acquired Canada's second largest air carrier, Canadian Airlines, merging the latter's operations into its own. As a result, Air Canada became the world's twelfth-largest commercial airline in the first decade of the 21st century. However, as Air Canada gained access to its former rival's financial statements, officials learned that the carrier was in worse financial shape than previously thought. An expedited merger strategy was pursued, but in summer 2000 the integration efforts led to flight delays, luggage problems, and other frustrations. However, service improved following Air Canada officials pledge to do so by January 2001.Following the difficult merger, the airline was confronted by the global aviation market downturn, and the challenge of increased competition, posting back-to-back losses in 2001 and 2002.

Bankruptcy and restructuring
On 1 April 2003, Air Canada filed for bankruptcy protection; it emerged from this protection on 30 September 2004, 18 months later. During the period of bankruptcy protection, the company was subject to two competing bids from Cerberus Capital Management and Victor Li. The Cerberus bid would have seen former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney installed as chairman, being recruited by Cerberus' international advisory board chair Dan Quayle, himself the former vice president of the United States. Cerberus was rejected because it had a reputation of changing existing employee pension agreements, a move strongly opposed by the CAW. At first, Air Canada selected Victor Li's Trinity Time Investments, which initially asked for a board veto and the chairmanship in return for investing $650 million in the airline. Li, who holds dual citizenship from Canada and Hong Kong, later demanded changes to the pension plan (which was not in his original takeover bid), but since the unions refused to budge, the bid was withdrawn.

Airbus A330-300 landing at London Heathrow Airport
Finally, Deutsche Bank unveiled an $850-million financing package for Air Canada, if it would cut $200 million in annual cost cutting in addition to the $1.1 billion that the unions agreed on in 2003. It was accepted after last-minute talks between CEO Robert Milton and CAW president Buzz Hargrove got the union concessions needed to let the bid go through.

ACE Aviation Holdings became the new parent company under which the reorganised Air Canada was held. In October 2004, Canadian singer, Celine Dion became the face of Air Canada, hoping to relaunch the airline, and draw in a more international market after an eighteen month period of bankruptcy protection. She recorded her single, You and I, which subsequently appeared in several Air Canada commercials.

Fleet modernization
On 31 October 2004, the last Air Canada Boeing 747 flight landed in Toronto from Frankfurt as AC873, ending 33 years of 747 service with the airline. The Boeing 747-400 fleet was replaced by the Airbus A340 fleet. On 19 October 2005, Air Canada unveiled a new aircraft colour scheme and uniforms. A Boeing 767-300ER was painted in the new silver-blue colour, and the green tail was replaced with a new version of the maple leaf known as the 'Frosted Leaf.'

Air Canada's Boeing 777-200LR, the longest ranged airliner in the world for long-haul flights.

On 9 November 2005, Air Canada entered into an agreement to renew its widebody fleet with Boeing by purchasing 18 Boeing 777s (10 -300ERs, 6 -200LRs, 2 777 Freighters), and 14 Boeing 787-8s. It also placed options to purchase an additional 18 Boeing 777s and 46 Boeing 787-8s and -9s. All of the 777s will be powered by the GE90-115B engine, and the 787-8s, by the GEnx engine. Deliveries of the 777s began in March 2007 and deliveries of the 787s are to begin in the second half of 2013. As the 777s are delivered, and as the 787s are delivered, it will gradually retire all Boeing 767s and Airbus A330s.
 Boeing secures $11bn of aircraft deals
On 24 April 2007, Air Canada announced that it has exercised half of its options for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The firm order for the Dreamliners is now at 37 plus 13 options, for a total of 50. This makes Air Canada the largest customer of the Dreamliner in North America and the third largest in the world (behind Qantas and All Nippon Airways). It also announced that it has cancelled orders for two Boeing 777Fs. In November 2007, Air Canada announced that it will lease an additional Boeing 777-300ER from ILFC. Air Canada has now taken delivery of the 18 Boeing 777s on order (12 -300ERs, 6 -200LRs) and still holds options for 16 more, totaling 34.

Air Canada has 45 Embraer ERJ-190 aircraft
Air Canada has also taken delivery of 15 Embraer 175s and 45 Embraer 190s. It holds options on an additional 60 Embraer 190s. These aircraft are being used to expand its intra-Canada and Canada/USA routes. Additionally, some of the Embraer 190s will replace older A319/A320s.

Project XM
Started in July 2006, and now completed, Project XM: Extreme Makeover, is a $300-million aircraft interior replacement project to install new cabins on all aircraft. New aircraft such as the Boeing 777 are being delivered with the new cabins factory installed.

A PTV onboard an Air Canada aircraft (Project XM)
New cabin features include:

In Executive First, new horizontal fully flat Executive First Suites (on B767s, B777s and A330s).
New cabins in all classes on all aircraft, with new entertainment options.
Personal AVOD (8.9 in/230 mm touch-screen LCD) in Economy class (domestic and international) and Executive Class (domestic).
Larger AVOD (12 in/300 mm touch-screen LCD) equipped with noise-cancelling Sennheiser headphones available in Executive First Suites.
Interactive games at all seats in Executive and Economy; XM Radio Canada available at every seat.
USB ports to recharge electronic devices and for game controllers; plugs for laptops in both classes.

Financial difficulties
Since the late 2000s, Air Canada has been facing a number of financial difficulties, including the global recession, leading to speculation that it could file for bankruptcy, just several years after it exited bankruptcy on 30 September 2004.
President and CEO Montie Brewer was replaced by Calin Rovinescu effective 1 April 2009. Rovinescu became the first Canadian President since Claude Taylor in 1992. Rovinescu was Air Canada's chief restructuring officer during its 2003 bankruptcy, and he resigned that year after unions rejected his demands, and is reported to be "an enforcer".
Federal finance minister Jim Flaherty appointed retired judge James Farley, who had presided over Air Canada's 2008 bankruptcy, to mediate pension issues between the company and its unions and retirees. The contracts with four of its unions also expired around this time. The airline stated that its $2.85-billion pension shortfall (which grew from $1.2-billion in 2007) was a "liquidity risk" in its first-quarter report, and it required new financing and pension "relief" to conserve cash for 2010 operations. The company was obligated to pay $650-million into the pension fund but it suffered a 2009 Q1 loss of $400-million, so it requested a moratorium on its pension payments in 2009. The unions had insisted on financial guarantees before agreeing on a deal. 

Baggage policy
On 13 May 2009, the Canadian Transportation Agency disallowed provisions in Air Canada's baggage policy that prevented passengers from recovering for a wide range of common damages to their checked luggage (e.g. straps, wheels, zippers and locks). Air Canada's signage concerning baggage liability was also held to be misleading. Air Canada was ordered to change its baggage policy and remove the misleading signs within 90 days.

Corporate affairs and identity


Air Canada 777-300ER overflies Air Canada Centre, the company's headquarters in Saint-Laurent, Montreal
Airbus A330-343X in Star Alliance livery
Air Canada Centre (French: Centre Air Canada) also known as La Rondelle ("The Puck" in French), is a 7 storey building that serves as the corporate headquarters of Air Canada, located on the grounds of Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and in Saint-Laurent, Montreal, near Dorval.

In 1994 David Israelson of the Toronto Star described the facility as "ultra modern." In 1990 the airline announced that it was moving its headquarters from Downtown Montreal to the airport to cut costs. In 2004 the company said that it has no plans to move its headquarters back to Downtown Montreal.
In 1975 Air Canada was headquartered at 1 Place Ville-Marie in Montreal.

Prior to 1976 Air Canada was lead by a department head of the Canadian National Railway, who reported to the President of CNR.
CEO and President:
1976–1984: Claude Taylor - accountant; former Air Canada reservation agent and executive
1984–1990: Pierre Jeanniot - former aircraft mechanic and Air Canada executive; founder of Jinmag Management and Investment Services
1990–1992: Claude Taylor
1992–1996: Hollis L. Harris (World Airways CEO 2001-2004, Continental CEO and President, 1990–1992, President of Delta Air Lines)
1996–1999: R. Lamar Durrett (former executive with Delta, Continental and System One)
1999–2004: Robert Milton (founding partner of Air Eagle Holdings Incorporated)
2004–2009: Montie Brewer (former United Airlines executive)
2009–present: Calin Rovinescu

Air Canada Cargo
Cargo loading on an Air Canada Airbus A319-100
Air Canada Cargo is the company's freight carrying division, offering more than 150 shipping destinations through the Air Canada airline network and airline partners. Its route network has focused on European destinations through its Eastern Canada departure points, along with direct services from Vancouver and Calgary to Frankfurt, Paris, and Zurich.

In Toronto, a new cargo terminal was completed in early 2002 which features modernised inventory and conveyor systems.

Aveos Fleet Performance Inc.

Formerly ACTS (Air Canada Technical Services), Aveos is a full-service Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) organisation that provides airframe, engine and component maintenance and various ancillary services to more than 100 customers. Major bases are in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

As of December 2009, ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. owns 27 percent of Air Canada and holds a 27.8 percent stake in Aveos, after selling its remaining stake in 2007 to private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co. and Sageview Capital for $723 million.
 On 23 September 2008, ACTS, formerly Air Canada Technical Services, changed its name to Aveos Fleet Performance Inc. to reflect its new ownership structure. Air Canada remains its largest customer.

Air Canada Vacations

An Air Georgian Beechcraft 1900D (left) in Air Canada Alliance livery at Bradley International Airport
Air Canada Vacations, a subsidiary of Air Canada, offers sun, cruise and leisure vacation packages to the Caribbean, Florida, Hawaii, Mexico, Las Vegas, Central and South America, and Asia.

Regional partners
Air Canada's regional partners include Jazz Air, Exploits Valley Air Services (EVAS),
 Air Georgian, and Central Mountain Air.

Air Canada Jetz
Launched in 2002, Air Canada Jetz is a charter service targeting sports teams, professional entertainers, and corporations. Air Canada Jetz fleet consists of 5 A320 & 1 A319 aircraft in an all business class configuration.

Former subsidiaries
In 2001, Air Canada consolidated Air BC, Air Nova, Air Ontario and Canadian Regional Airlines into Air Canada Jazz. Air Canada Jazz was spun off starting in November 2006. ACE Aviation Holdings is no longer a shareholder of Jazz Air LP, making it an independent company. "Air Canada Jazz" is now the brand name of Air Canada's regional product, with all flights currently being operated by Jazz Air LP.
In 2002, Air Canada launched Zip, a discount airline to compete directly with WestJet on routes in Western Canada. Zip operated ex-Canadian Airlines International 737-200s as a separate airline with its own staff and brightly painted aircraft. It also was disbanded in 2004.

Air Canada Jazz CRJ 705 at Regina International Airport
  • On 1 November 2001, Air Canada launched Air Canada Tango, designed to offer no-frills service and lower fares using a dedicated fleet of 13 Airbus A320s in an all economy configuration of 159 seats. In Canada, it operated from Toronto to Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Regina/Saskatoon, Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax. In addition, it operated non-stop service between Toronto and Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa; as well as non-stop service between Montreal and Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. Tango was intended to compete with Canada 3000. The Tango service was dissolved in 2004. Air Canada now calls its lowest fare class "Tango" (Tango and Tango Plus).

Aeroplan is Air Canada's loyalty marketing program operated by Groupe Aeroplan Inc. Group Aeroplan Inc. was spun off from Air Canada in 2005.


Air Canada domestic check-in facilities at Vancouver International Airport

Air Canada flies to 15 domestic destinations and 81 international destinations in 33 countries (including British overseas territories, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Overseas departments and territories of France and United States territories) across Asia, Americas, Europe and Oceania. Along with its domestic subsidiary Jazz, the carrier serves 171 destinations in 39 countries worldwide.
Air Canada has flown a number of fifth freedom routes (passenger and cargo rights between two non-Canadian destinations), only one of which is still operated, namely Santiago-Buenos Aires. Past fifth freedom routes have included: Honolulu-Sydney, London Heathrow-Düsseldorf, Paris-Geneva, Paris-Munich, Paris-Berlin, Frankfurt-Zürich, Zürich-Zagreb, Zürich-Vienna, Zürich-Delhi, Lisbon-Madrid, Brussels-Prague, London Heathrow-Delhi, London Heathrow-Nice, London Heathrow-Bombay-Singapore.

Codeshare agreements
Air Canada has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:
Air Central *
Air China *
Air New Zealand *
Air One
Asiana Airlines *
Austrian Airlines *
Avianca *
British Airways (Oneworld)
Brussels Airlines *
Cathay Pacific (Oneworld)
Continental Airlines *
EgyptAir *
Japan Airlines (Oneworld)
Jet Airways
LOT Polish Airlines *
Lufthansa *
Middle East Airlines
Qantas (Oneworld)
SAM Colombia
Scandinavian Airlines *
Shanghai Airlines
Singapore Airlines *
Spanair *
Swiss International Air Lines *
TAM Airlines *
TAP Portugal*
Thai Airways International *
Turkish Airlines *
United Airlines *
US Airways *
Notes: * indicates Star Alliance partners; Air Canada is one of the founding members of Star Alliance.


The Air Canada fleet consists of 204 aircraft, as of 24 November 2010. All aircraft are now fitted with the new interior, except three B767-300ERs (which serve seasonal all-economy class routes to Athens, Barcelona and Dublin) and two all-economy class A319-100s which returned from lease from now bankrupt Mexicana. The new interior is a revamp of the cabin and the installation of individual video displays in both Executive First and Economy classes.
Air Canada Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers
(Executive/Economy) Notes
Airbus A319-100 35
2* 0 120 (14/106)
132 (0/132)* *Old cabins
Airbus A320-200 41 0 146 (14/132)
Airbus A321-200 10 0 174 (20/154)
Airbus A330-300 8 0 265 (37/228) C-GHLM painted in Star Alliance livery
Boeing 767-300ER 27
3* 0 191 (25/166)
211 (24/187)
247 (24/223)* *Old cabins
C-FMWY painted in Star Alliance livery
Boeing 777-200LR 6 0 270 (42/228)
Boeing 777-300ER 12 0 349 (42/307)
Boeing 787-8 0 37 TBA Entry into service: 2013
Embraer 175 15 0 73 (9/64)
Embraer 190 45 0 93 (9/84)
Total 204 37
Air Canada has an average fleet age of 10 years, as of 30 June 2010. The Boeing customer code for Air Canada is 7x7-x33 (i.e. 777-333).

Airbus A340-300, retired 2008
Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER landing in Montreal.

In 1963, Air Canada claimed to be the first major air carrier to have adopted turbine technology on its entire fleet for lower maintenance costs and higher productivity. It also claimed to be the first world airline to introduce jet freighter service using DC-8 equipment.
Air Canada was also one of the first airlines to have its entire fleet of unpressurised aircraft equipped with fixed oxygen systems for use by flight crew and passengers, using the rebreathing bag principle.
Air Canada's Airbus A340-500s (C-GKOL, fin 951 and C-GKOM, fin 952) were retired in August 2007 and replaced by Boeing 777-200LRs. They were then leased to TAM Airlines.
Air Canada's Airbus A340-300s were retired in November 2008 and replaced by Boeing 777-300ERs.They were leased to 6 different airlines, including Swiss International Airlines, Gestair, Air Jamaica, Lan Airlines, AirAsia X, and BWIA Int
Air Canada's Boeing 767-200ER fleet was retired from service by the end of 2008.
The Boeing 767 involved in the Gimli incident (known as the "Gimli Glider") remained in service with Air Canada until it retired in 2008. The aircraft (C-GAUN) now sits at the Mojave Spaceport in California.
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aircraft operated from 1971-2001 were owned by Canadian Airlines.
The following are lists of aircraft that Air Canada has operated since 1937, and are now no longer in the fleet:

Air Canada Operated Jetliners

Type Used
Airbus A340-300 1995-2008
Airbus A340-500 2004-2007
BAe 146-200 1990-2005
Boeing 727-200 1974-1992
Boeing 737-200 2001-2004
Boeing 747-100 1971-1999
Boeing 747-200M(Combi) 1975-2002
Boeing 747-400 1990-2005
Boeing 747-400M(Combi) 1990-2004
Boeing 767-200ER 1983-2008
Douglas DC-8-40 -50 -60 -70 1960-1983
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 1966-2002
McDonnell Douglas DC-10 2001-2002
Fokker F28 1986-2004
Lockheed L-1011 -1 -15 -100 -500 1973-1996
Air Canada Operated Propliners

Type Used
Avro Lancastrian 1943-1947
Bristol Freighter 1953-1955
Canadair North Star 1946-1961
Douglas DC-3 1945-1963
Lockheed Super Constellation 1954-1963
Lockheed Model 10 Electra 1937-1941
Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra 1941-1949
Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar 1941-1949
Stearman 1937-1939
Vickers Vanguard 1961-1972
Vickers Viscount 1955-1974

Executive First Suites on the 767 (Project XM)
Air Canada has two classes of service, both business and economy, on all aircraft. On long-haul international routes, Executive First and Economy Class is offered; short-haul and domestic routes feature Executive Class and Economy Class. Air Canada Jazz features two classes of service, Executive and Economy Class, on CRJ-705 aircraft; all other Jazz aircraft have one-class Economy cabins.


Executive First Suites (International Business Class)
Executive First Suites is Air Canada’s international business class product, introduced as part of the carrier's Project XM upgrade. These cabins are available on all A330-300, B777-300ER, and B777-200LR aircraft, and all but three B767-300ER aircraft (which feature the original Executive First Class).

Executive First in-flight meal.

Executive First Suites feature electronic flat beds, in a 1–1–1 (B767-300ER and A330-300s) or 1–2–1 (B777-300ER and B777-200LR) herringbone configuration with a 21-inch (0.533 m) seat width and a 6-foot-3-inch (1.91 m) seat pitch.The configuration is similar in layout to Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class Suite and Air New Zealand's Business Premier Class product. Entertainment is personal AVOD (Audio Video On Demand), while music is provided by XM Satellite Radio. Self-service bar areas and mood lighting are available on all B777-300ER and B777-200LR aircraft.
The prior Executive First cabin features electronic recliner seats reclining to 151°, with a width of 21 inches (0.53 m) and a pitch of 57 to 60 inches (1.4 to 1.5 m). Seat configuration is 1–2–2 or 2–2–1 seating on the 767-300ER aircraft, depending on tail fin. Entertainment provided is personal DVD player.

International Economy Class

Economy Class cabin on the 777 (Project XM)

In international Economy Class, seats are pitched 31 inches (0.79 m) to 34 inches (0.86 m) with a width of 17.2 inches (0.44 m) to 18.5 inches (0.47 m) and a recline to around 6 inches (0.15 m). On all Project XM fitted aircraft, entertainment is personal AVOD (audio-video on demand). Configuration is 3–3–3 on the B777, 2–4–2 on the A330, and 2–3–2 on the B767. On Economy Class (original) aircraft, main screen entertainment is offered. Music on both types is provided by XM Satellite Radio.

North American Executive Class
Within North America, Executive Class is Air Canada’s premium product. On Embraer and Canadair-705 (operated by Air Canada Jazz) aircraft, seat configuration is 1–2 abreast, with recline around 120°, and a width of 20 inches (0.51 m). On Airbus narrow-body aircraft, seat configuration is 2–2 abreast, with 124° recline, and 21 inches (0.53 m) width. Seat pitch is 37 inches (0.94 m) on Canadair-705 aircraft and 39 inches (0.99 m) on Embraer and Airbus aircraft. All seats feature AVOD and the new style cabin interiors. Music is provided by XM Satellite Radio.

Dinner in international Economy Class

North American Economy Class
Economy seating for domestic, north american, sun destination and caribbean flights is 3–3 abreast on Airbus aircraft and 2–2 on Embraer and Canadair aircraft, with a pitch between 30 inches (0.76 m) and 32 inches (0.81 m) on Airbus aircraft. For these flights food and alcoholic beverages can be purchased through the Onboard Café while non-alcoholic beverages are complimentary.

Air Canada Jazz Flights
Air Canada Jazz flights operated by Canadair CRJ100, Canadair CRJ200ER, de Havilland Dash 8-100 and de Havilland Dash 8-300 aircraft only offer a limited onboard service. The aircraft do not feature seat back AVOD TV, radio or in seat power.

Cabin crew
Air Canada has made a change in uniform by changing the dark green for a midnight blue colour. The uniforms were designed by Canadian fashion designer Debbie Shuchat. At a presentation in the Toronto Pearson International Airport hangar, Celine Dion helped the newly-solvent airline debut its new image.Fashion takes flight, The Globe and Mail, 6 April 2005 Date accessed: 30 October 2008


Air Canada Arrivals Lounge at London'sHeathrow Airport Terminal 3
Maple Leaf Lounges are available to passengers holding a same day ticket on Air Canada in Executive Class, Star Alliance Gold Members, Air Canada Super Elite, Air Canada Elite, Air Canada Maple Leaf Club members, American Express Maple Leaf Club members, CIBC Maple Leaf Club card holders, American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum holders, holders of a one time guest pass or economy passengers who have purchased lounge access during booking.

The Air Canada London Heathrow Arrivals Lounge is available to eligible members arriving into London from any Air Canada international flight, holding a confirmed same-day overseas travel boarding card. Eligible groups include Executive Class Passengers, Air Canada Super Elite, Air Canada Elite, Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Members, American Express Maple Leaf Club, CIBC Maple Leaf Club or those holding a one-time guest pass.


Aeroplan is Air Canada's frequent flier program. Miles are awarded to members and can be redeemed for rewards on airline tickets (primarily Star Alliance), reservations at hotel chains and car rental agencies, or for merchandise or charitable donations. Beginning 1 January 2007, Aeroplan miles expire after 7 years, unless the member is a minor (under 18 years of age) or has Top Tier status (Prestige, Elite or SuperElite). Accumulated miles also expire if an account does not show any activity (earning or redemption) for one full year (members can resuscitate their points but will have to pay a charge).

Incidents and accidents

Date                                          Flight number                       Information
13 June 1964 Vickers Viscount, Fin 638 CF-THT was damaged beyond economical repair when it crash-landed at Toronto after the failure of two engines on approach.
19 May 1967 McDonnell Douglas DC-8-54F, Fin 813 CF-TJM crashed and burned on a training flight while making a three-engine landing at Ottawa, Ontario. All 3 crew members were killed. There were no passengers on the flight.
11 September 1968 A Vickers Viscount of Air Canada was reported to have been hijacked by a Cuban passenger.
7 September 1969 Vickers Viscount, Fin 629 CF-THK was damaged beyond economic repair by a fire which occurred on take-off from Sept-Iles. The aircraft landed back at Sept-Îles but one passenger was killed in the fire.
1 March 1970 Vickers Viscount, Fin 643 CF-THY of collided in mid-air with Ercoupe 415 CF-SHN on approach to Vancouver International Airport. The Ercoupe pilot was killed.
5 July 1970 Flight 621 McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63, Fin 878 CF-TIW exploded from a fuel line rupture caused by engine 4 striking the runway in Toronto, Ontario during the first landing attempt. All 109 passengers/crew were killed.
21 June 1973 McDonnell Douglas DC-8-53, Fin 822 CF-TIJ caught fire and was burnt out during refueling at Terminal 2, Toronto, Ontario; no fatalities.
26 June 1978 Flight 189 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32, Fin 721 CF-TLV overran the runway in Toronto after a blown tire aborted the takeoff. Two of 107 people on board were killed.
17 September 1979 Flight 680 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32, Fin 720 C-FTLU approximately 14 minutes after flight 680 left Logan International Airport in Boston, MA for Yarmouth, NS the entire tailcone section of the plane separated resulting in rapid decompression at an altitude of 25,000 feet (7,600 m) leaving a large hole in the rear of the aircraft. A beverage cart, and other items in the cabin were sucked out of the plane over the Atlantic Ocean, but there were no fatalities or significant injuries. The plane safely returned to Boston. Fatigue cracks were determined to be the cause. This same aircraft would be destroyed by fire nearly four years later on June 2, 1983 as Air Canada Flight 797
2 June 1982 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32, Fin 724 C-FTLY exploded during a maintenance period in Montreal, Quebec; no fatalities.
2 June 1983 Flight 797 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32, Fin 720 C-FTLU had an electrical fire in the aft lavatory during flight, resulting in an emergency landing at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. During emergency exiting, the sudden influx of oxygen caused a flash fire throughout the cabin, resulting in the deaths of 23 of the 41 passengers, including Canadian folk singer Stan Rogers. All five crew members survived. This is Air Canada's most recent fatal accident.
23 July 1983 Flight 143 Boeing 767-233, Fin 604 C-GAUN glided to an emergency landing in Gimli after running out of fuel 12,300 metres (40,400 ft) above Red Lake, Ontario. Few people suffered minor injuries during the evacuation due to the steep angle of the escape chute at the rear of the plane; caused by the collapsed nose at the front. This incident was the subject of the TV movie, Falling from the Sky: Flight 174, starring William Devane, and the book, Freefall, by William Hoffer. This incident was also featured on the Discovery Channel series Mayday (TV series) season 5 episode 6. This flight is specially known for the Gimli Glider.
28 March 1989 Air Canada Cargo McDonnell Douglas DC-8-73CF flight from Toronto to Vancouver with stops in Winnipeg and Edmonton slammed down hard onto the runway during landing in Edmonton resulting in the plane leaving the runway for more than 900 feet (270 m) on the frozen ground and damaging both outboard engines. Icing on the right wing was blamed for the incident. There were no fatalities, but the CASB felt a disaster was averted due to the plane stalling just above the runway, and because the ground hadn't yet thawed. One CASB official was quoted as saying "Ten seconds earlier or three weeks later and we'd be picking up bits and pieces".
16 December 1997 Flight 646 Air Canada Bombardier CRJ-100ER, Fin 109 C-FSKI went off the end of the runway upon landing in Fredericton, New Brunswick. There were no fatalities.
10 August 2006 Flights 849, 865 Air Canada flights to Toronto and Montreal were among the seven planes allegedly targeted in a massive bomb plot that was being planned in the United Kingdom. Air Canada Flight 849 that leaves Heathrow daily at 15:00 for Toronto and the regular Air Canada Flight 865 that leaves at 15:15 for Montreal. All were to be detonated simultaneously as the planes crossed the Atlantic Ocean carrying between 240 and 285 people each. Both aircraft being Airbus A330-300s.
20 May 2007 Flight 8911* A Bombardier CRJ-100ER, Fin 104 C-FRIL flight, which originated in Moncton, had its main landing gear collapse at Toronto-Pearson International Airport while turning from the runway onto the taxiway. There were no injuries. The aircraft C-FRIL was written off and was cancelled from the Canadian Aircraft Register on 18 July 2007
10 January 2008 Flight 190 Air Canada Flight 190, an Airbus 319, Fin 279 C-GBHZ heading from Victoria to Toronto, plunged from 36,900 to 35,500 feet (11,200 to 10,800 m) for approximately 15 seconds, until the pilots were able to regain control and fly the plane manually. The plane made an emergency landing in Calgary. Two crew members and eight passengers were admitted to hospital but released the same day. The final report concluded that flight 190 encountered wake turbulence produced by a Boeing 747 on the same route of flight just ahead of flight 190. Although minimum safety distance was observed, the turbulence, along with extreme rudder and sidestick input from the pilot, led to high g loads and the consequent movement of objects and people on the plane.
24 April 2009 Flight 034 Air Canada Flight AC34, a Boeing 777-200LR, registered as C-FIUJ Fin 703, flying from Sydney to Vancouver, encountered severe turbulence related to storm activity one hour northeast of Honolulu. The normally direct flight was forced to return back to an unscheduled stop in Honolulu where the injured passengers and crew were treated. While initial reports said that up to 22 people suffered injuries during the turbulence, the official press release from Air Canada reported nine passengers and two crew were injured while an additional two crew and two passengers remained in hospital in Honolulu. After 2 hours in Honolulu the flight continued on to Vancouver, arriving before 12:00 local time instead of the scheduled 07:30. Unconfirmed reports from passengers on the ground after landing say the turbulence lasted up to 10 minutes with little or no warning before the event.


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