Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Air Canada is Canada's flag air carrier, headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. Its main hub is at Toronto Pearson International Airport. It has a Pacific hub at Vancouver International Airport, and another hub in Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. Calgary International Airport is a mini-hub in Western Canada. Air Canada's regional partners include Air Canada Jazz, Air Labrador, Air Georgian, and Central Mountain Air. There is also a premium jet charter service for corporate and professional sports teams called Air Canada Jetz. It was once touted as the world's safest airline.
Created as a subsidiary of Canadian National Railways (CNR), Trans-Canada Airlines (TCA) launched its first flight, using a Lockheed 10A, on September 1, 1937 carrying two passengers and mail from Vancouver to Seattle. In 1964, the future Prime Minister of Canada 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 on its first attempt but was resubmitted and passed on its second attempt. The name change was effective January 1, 1965. In a late 1970s reorganization at CNR, Air Canada became an independent Crown corporation.
In 1989 the company was partially privatized with the federal government remaining as a minor shareholder for several more years. Today, Air Canada provides scheduled and charter air transportation for passengers and cargo to over 150 destinations, vacation packages to over 90 destinations, as well as maintenance, ground handling and training services to other airlines.
On September 2, 1998 pilots for Air Canada launched the first pilots' strike in company history. In 2000 after acquiring Canada's second largest air carrier, Canadian Airlines, it became the world's twelfth largest commercial airline.
As of 2002, Air Canada provides scheduled and chartered passenger jet service directly to 20 Canadian cities, 35 destinations in the United States and 47 cities in Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, the Southwest Asia, India, and South America. Air Canada averages nearly 740 flights each day, and serves 23 million customers annually. It is a member in the Star Alliance network, a grouping of 14 airlines offering seamless travel worldwide. Together, Star Alliance carriers serve 729 airports in 124 countries. Air Canada has about 40,000 employees and 306 aircraft. Air Canada codeshares services on other Star carriers, such as bmi's Toronto to Manchester, United Kingdom flight.
In 2004 Air Canada had 78 wide-body jets including the Boeing 767, Airbus A330-300, A340-300, and A340-500, 122 narrow-body jets: Airbus A320, A319, A321, and 111 regional and commuter aircraft: Canadair Regional Jet, BAe 146 and de Havilland Canada Dash 8. In September 2004, the airline confirmed orders for 45 Brazilian Embraer 190 aircraft and 30 additional Canadair Regional Jets.
On April 1 2003, Air Canada filed for bankruptcy protection. Air Canada finally emerged from bankruptcy protection on September 30, 2004, 19 months later. ACE Aviation Holdings Inc., is the new parent company under which the reorganized Air Canada is held.
In October 2003, Air Canada became the only airline to launch a nonstop flight between North America and India when it launched daily flights from Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto to Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi.
- May 19, 1967: McDonnell Douglas DC-8, crashed and burned on a training flight while attempting a three engine landing at Ottawa, Ontario. All 3 crew members were killed. There were no passengers on the flight.
- July 5, 1970: (AC621) McDonnell Douglas DC-8 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.
- June 21, 1973: McDonnell Douglas DC-8, caught fire and burned to the ground during refuelling at Terminal 2, Toronto, Ontario. The Terminal was evacuated. There were no deaths or injuries.
- June 26, 1978: (AC189) McDonnell Douglas DC-9 overran the runway in Toronto after a blown tire aborted the takeoff. 2 of 107 passengers/crew were killed.
- June 2, 1982: McDonnell Douglas DC-9 exploded during maintenance period in Montreal, Quebec. No deaths.
- June 2, 1983: (AC797) McDonnell Douglas DC-9 caught fire after emergency landing near Covington, Kentucky. 23 of 46 passengers/crew were killed. See: Air Canada Flight 797
- July 23, 1983: (AC143) Boeing 767 made an emergency landing in Gimli, Manitoba after running out of fuel. No deaths. See Gimli Glider
- December 16, 1997: (AC646) Bombardier Canadair CRJ-100 crashed on a go-around in Fredericton, New Brunswick. No deaths.
See full article: Air Canada destinations
Other facts of interest
- During the middle 1990s, Air Canada repainted one of their jets to reflect the Trans-Canada livery.
- Air Canada is the official carrier of the Toronto Raptors basketball team. One of its Airbus A320's was repainted to honor the team.
- Its safety record rates "A", the highest grade possible, according to Air Rankings Online .
- Air Canada's parent company, ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the stock symbol, ACE.RV.
- Air Canada unveiled a new aircraft colour scheme, and blue uniforms, on 19 October 2004. A Boeing 767-300 was painted in a silvery colour with a blue tint. The green tail has been replaced with the same silvery paint, but retains a version of the red maple leaf.
- In 2001, Air Canada launched Air Canada Tango, which offered no-frills service and lower fares between major cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and also to some holiday destinations such as Fort Lauderdale. Tango aircraft were painted with the Air Canada design but in purple. The Tango service was dissolved in 2004.
- In 2002, Air Canada launched Zip, a discount airline to compete directly with Westjet on routes in Western Canada. Zip operated as a separate airline with its own staff, and had brightly painted aircraft. It also was disbanded in 2004.
- Launched in 2002, Air Canada Jetz still exists as a charter service for sports teams and professionals.