|Commenced operations||1 January 1965|
|Airport lounge||Maple Leaf Lounge|
|Fleet size||198 |
|Destinations||178 (excl. subsidiaries)|
|Company slogan||GO FAR|
|Headquarters||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Revenue||CAN$ 12.12 billion (2012)|
|Operating income||CAN$ 437 million (2012)|
|Net income||CAN$ 131 million (2012)|
|Total assets||CAN$ 9.060 billion (2012)|
|Total equity||CAN$ -3.406 billion (2012)|
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 tenth-largest passenger airline by number of destinations, and the airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, an alliance of 28 member airlines formed in 1997. Air Canada's corporate headquarters are located in Montreal, Quebec, while its largest hub is Toronto Pearson International Airport, located in Mississauga, Ontario. Air Canada had passenger revenues of CA$10.2 billion in 2011. The airline's regional service is Air Canada Express.
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 2003 the airline filed for bankruptcy protection and, the following year, emerged and reorganized under the holding company ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. In 2006, 34 million people flew with Air Canada as the airline celebrated its 70th anniversary. Air Canada is presently recognized as the Skytrax Best International Airline in North America, as well as being ranked as a 4 Star Airline by Skytrax in 2013.
Air Canada has 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 1,530 scheduled flights daily.
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 flights 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.
In 1942 Canadian Pacific Airlines suggested a merger 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 [Lester B Pearson] 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
During the 1970s government regulations ensured Air Canada's dominance over domestic regional carriers and rival CP Air. Short-haul carriers were each restricted to one of five regions, 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. 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.
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 with 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
In 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 in conjunction with Onex Corp, a Canadian financial company, launched a takeover bid of ailing rival Canadian Airlines and Air Canada, spurring Air Canada to submit a competing offer for its largest rival.
2000s: merger and reorganization
In January 2001 Air Canada acquired Canada's second largest air carrier, Canadian Airlines, merging the latter's operations, becoming the world's twelfth-largest airline in the first decade of the 21st century. 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. The airline was confronted by the global aviation market downturn and increased competition, posting back-to-back losses in 2001 and 2002.
Bankruptcy and restructuring
As Air Canada had employed a scorched earth policy to prevent the Onex proposed acquisition as one of its lines of defence, it had burdened itself with onerous contracts with virtually all of its suppliers and as a result, on 1 April 2003 Air Canada filed for protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangements Act; 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.
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.
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 black tail was replaced with a new version of the maple leaf known as the 'Frosted Leaf.'
On 9 November 2005, Air Canada agreed to renew its widebody fleet with Boeing by purchasing 16 Boeing 777s (10 -300ERs, 6 -200LRs), and 14 Boeing 787-8s. It placed options on 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.
|Wikinews has related news: 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 23 options, for a total of 60. 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 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. Air Canada will retire and transfer all 15 Embraer175s to Sky Regional Airlines to fly them under the Air Canada Express brand. They will also retire all Airbus A319-100 and Boeing 767-300ER aircraft and they will be transferred to Air Canada Rouge.
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.
- In Executive First, new horizontal fully flat Executive First Suites (on Boeing 767s, Boeing 777s and A330s).
- New cabins in all classes on all aircraft, with new entertainment options.
- Personal AVOD (8.9 in or 230 mm touch-screen LCD) in Economy class (domestic and international) and Executive Class (domestic).
- Larger AVOD (12 in or 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 at all seats; 120 Volt AC plugs in most seats; In Economy (2 per triple) (1 per double) (3 per quad). In First Class/Executive (All seats)
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, less than a decade after 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 2003 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 $400-million, so it requested a moratorium on its pension payments in 2009. The unions had insisted on financial guarantees before agreeing on a deal. 
By federal law (Air Canada Act), Air Canada has been obligated to keep its head office in Montreal. Its corporate headquarters is Air Canada Centre (French: Centre Air Canada), also known as La Rondelle ("The Puck" in French), a 7 storey building located on the grounds of Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
In 2011, Air Canada announced that it was moving 125 crew schedulers from its Montreal headquarters to Toronto.
Air Canada has been loss-making for several years; 2012 was the first year since 2007 that a post-tax profit was achieved. The key trends for the Air Canada group, including Jazz, are (years ending 31 December):
|Net Profits/Losses after tax (C$m)||429||−1,025||−24||−24||−249||131|
|Number of employees (average FTE)||23,900||24,200||22,900||23,200||23,700||24,000|
|Number of passengers (m)||33+||33+||30+||32+||33.9||34.9|
|Passenger load factor (%)||80.6||81.4||80.7||81.7||81.6||82.7|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||340||333||332||328||331||351|
Prior to 1976, Air Canada was led 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
- 1990–1992: Claude Taylor
- 1992–1996: Hollis L. Harris (World Airways CEO 2001-04, Continental CEO and President, 1990-92, President of Delta)
- 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
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.
Air Canada Vacations
Air Canada Vacations is a Canadian tour operator offering leisure travel packages including cruises, tours, car rentals and excursions. All packages include accommodation, Aeroplan® Miles and roundtrip airfare aboard Air Canada and its Star Alliance™ partners. Repeat recipient of the Consumer’s Choice Award for Best Travel Wholesaler and named Favourite Tour Operator by Baxter Travel Media in 2010, Air Canada Vacations services hundreds of destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, North, Central and South America, Asia, South Pacific and Europe. Air Canada Vacations is headquartered in Montreal, has an office in Toronto, and destination representatives are available throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, Asia, South Pacific, and South America.
Air Canada Express
Air Canada Express is the brand name of Air Canada's regional operation. Regional flights are operated for Air Canada by the following operators: Jazz Aviation, Sky Regional Airlines, Exploits Valley Air Services (EVAS), and Air Georgian.
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 Airbus A320 & 1 Airbus A319 aircraft in an all business class configuration.
Air Canada Rouge
Launched in 2012, Air Canada Rouge is a leisure carrier that began service in 2013. Air Canada re-assigned two Boeing 767 and two Airbus A319 to the new airline. Future fleet is targeted at 50 aircraft. Announced destinations, pending government approval, include Venice, Edinburgh, Dublin, Athens, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Costa Rica. The carrier is currently a unit of its mainline parent, using the AC flight code and is fully integrated into the Air Canada mainline and Air Canada Express networks.
The service is not positioned to compete with the leisure airlines based in Canada, thus it is not truly no-frills. Baggage policy is the same as Air Canada's, and catering is complimentary on flights to/from Europe, with a buy-on-board offering on all other flights in line with the mainline service. Air Canada's mainline economy class fare services (Tango, Flex and Latitude) apply to the new carrier. However these have been adjusted, for example the mileage accumulation is on a fixed basis for AC Rouge segments and significantly limited compared with mainline segments. The airline will launch services to Venice, Edinburgh, and Athens beginning 1 July 2013.
In 2001, Air Canada consolidated its wholly owned regional carriers Air BC, Air Nova, Air Ontario, and Canadian Regional Airlines into Air Canada Regional Incorporated. In 2002, the consolidation was completed with the creation of a new brand-Air Canada Jazz. Air Canada Jazz was spun off starting in November 2006. ACE Aviation Holdings is no longer a shareholder of Jazz Aviation LP, making it an independent company. Air Canada Jazz was the brand name of Air Canada's main regional product from 2002-2011. As of June 2011, the Air Canada Jazz brand is no longer being marketed as all regional operators adopted the Air Canada Express name. Jazz Aviation is the largest of these affiliates operating 125 aircraft on behalf of Air Canada.
In 2002, Air Canada launched 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.
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., which was spun off from Air Canada in 2005.
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 regional partners, 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.
The Air Canada fleet (including Air Canada Rouge) consists of 202 aircraft (as of June 2013). All aircraft are now fitted with the new interior, except three Boeing 767-300ERs which serve select seasonal all-economy class routes from Calgary, Vancouver, and Edmonton to Honolulu, Maui, Cancun, Varadero, and Montego Bay (winter) and Montreal and Toronto to Athens, Barcelona, and Dublin (summer) and two all-economy class A319-100s which returned from lease from now bankrupt Mexicana which serve select winter routes. The new interior is a revamp of the cabin and the installation of individual video displays in both Executive First and Economy classes. The majority of the widebody aircraft (B767, B777, A330) operate from Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.
|2||—||—||—||142||142||To be operated by Rouge|
|Boeing 767-300ER||30||23||—||24||—||187||211||Replacement aircraft: Boeing 787
|2||—||18||246||264||To be operated by Rouge|
|1||4||36||24||398||458||Deliveries: 3 in 2013; 1 in 2014
To be used on Montréal-Paris, Toronto-Munich, Vancouver-Hong Kong and Vancouver-London/Heathrow routes
|Boeing 787-8||—||37||TBA||Entry into service: 2014
Replacing: Boeing 767-300ER
|Embraer 175||13||—||9||—||64||73||Transfer to Sky Regional Airlines by June 2013.|
|Total||203 ||41||(including Air Canada Rouge)|
Air Canada has an average fleet age of 10.5 years, as of January 2013.
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 were retired in August 2007 and replaced by Boeing 777-200LRs.
- Air Canada's Airbus A340-300s were retired in November 2008 and replaced by Boeing 777-300ERs.
- 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 is a list of aircraft that Air Canada has operated since 1937, and are now no longer in the fleet:
Air Canada has two classes of service, both business and economy, on most 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 Express features Executive Class and Economy Class, on CRJ705 aircraft; all other Air Canada Express aircraft have one-class economy cabins.
In the spring of 1987, Air Canada enacted no-smoking flights between Canada and New York City as a test. After a survey reported that 96% of passengers supported the smoking ban, Air Canada extended the ban to other flights.
Executive First (International Business Class)
Executive First is Air Canada’s international business class product, updated during the carrier's Project XM upgrade. These cabins are available on all widebody aircraft with the exception of three Boeing 767-300ER aircraft (which feature a North American Executive Class cabin).
Executive First Suites feature electronic flat beds, in a 1–1–1 (Boeing 767-300ER and A330-300s) or 1–2–1 (Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 777-200LR) 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 Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 777-200LR aircraft.
The prior Executive First cabin featured 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 was 1–2–2 or 2–2–1 seating on the 767-300ER aircraft, depending on tail fin. The Airbus widebodies featured a 2–2–2 seating configuration. Entertainment provided was personal DVD player or in-seat AVOD depending on aircraft type.
Premium Economy Class
On February 7, 2013, Air Canada announced its plan for installing premium economy class products on two of its Boeing 777 aircraft, as well as on low-cost flights operated by Air Canada Rouge.
Premium economy features a larger seat and greater recline as compared to economy class, in a 2–2–2 configuration (Boeing 767-300ER) with a 23.5-inch (0.597 m) seat width or a 2–4–2 configuration (Boeing 777-300ER) with a 20-inch (0.508 m) seat width and a 38-inch (0.965 m) seat pitch. Entertainment on the Boeing 777-300ER is personal AVOD (Audio Video On Demand), while music is provided by XM Satellite Radio.
The first Air Canada route featuring premium economy class cabin will be Montreal - Paris, starting in July. Toronto-Munich will also feature premium economy class seating beginning in September 2013. Air Canada Rouge will begin to operate flights with premium economy class products onboard starting July 1, 2013 to Venice, Athens, and Edinburgh.
International Economy Class
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 or 3–4–3 on the Boeing 777, 2–4–2 on the A330, and 2–3–2 on the Boeing 767. 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 175/190 aircraft and CRJ705 aircraft (Air Canada Express), 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.
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 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 Onboard Café while non-alcoholic beverages are complimentary. GuestLogix point of sale terminals are used.
Air Canada regional flights
Air Canada Express flights operated by CRJ100/200, Dash 8-100/300/400 aircraft offer a bar and refreshment service on board. The CRJ705 features Executive Class and personal AVOD at every seat. Flights on board the CRJ100/200/705 and Q400 which are 90 minutes or more feature Onboard Café.
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.
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.
U.S. business traveller international stopover strategy
Air Canada has started to pursue American based business travellers from departure airports which do not have direct connections to Europe and abroad, and use Canadian airports like Montreal, Toronto-Pearson and Vancouver to make their connection through Canada.
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 seven 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).
Air Canada Altitude
On 20 September 2012, Air Canada announced its new frequent flyer program named "Air Canada Altitude" in Montreal, Quebec. The program is expected to complement Aeroplan and add three additional tiers to the membership levels of Air Canada's frequent flyer program. There are five membership tiers: Altitude Prestige 25K (25,000 Status Miles or 25 Status Segments), Altitude Elite 35K (35,000 Status Miles or 35 Status Segments), Altitude Elite 50K (50,000 Status Miles or 50 Status Segments), Altitude Elite 75K (75,000 Status Miles or 75 Status Segments), and Altitude Super Elite 100K (100,000 Status Miles or 95 Status Segments). Qualified Altitude Prestige 25K and Altitude Elite 35K are entitled to Star Alliance Silver Status, while members of the other three tiers are entitled to Star Alliance Gold Status.
Incidents and accidents
|13 June 1964||Flight 3277||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||Flight 106||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||Flight 890||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 the 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 2 June 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. The captain was the last person to get out of the plane. It was later made into a TV movie. 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. Some 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 generally known as the Gimli Glider.|
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