Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic as well as international airlines. A wholly owned subsidiary of ACE Aviation Holdings Inc, it also serves as the flag carrier of Canada. The airline is headquartered in Montreal. In 2005, Air Canada provided direct passenger air transportation to 159 destinations. At the end of the same year, Air Canada boasted of the distinction of being the 12th largest airline in the whole world.
Air Canada traces its roots to Trans Canada Air Lines (TCA), established in the year 1936. TCA inaugurated its first flight on September 1, 1937. The inaugural flight flew from Vancouver to Seattle, carrying only two passengers and some mail. By 1964, TCA had grown to become Canada's national airline and changed its name to Air Canada as well. In 1987, Air Canada became the first airline in the world to have a fleet-wide non-smoking policy. Two years later i.e. by 1989, the airline became completely privatized. In 2000, Air Canada acquired Canada's second largest air carrier, Canadian Airlines International.
Through its strategic and commercial arrangements with Star Alliance members and several other airlines, Air Canada offers service to over 795 destinations, in 139 countries. It covers US, Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean, in Americas. In Europe, the airline serves destinations like France, Germany Switzerland, U.K, Italy, Spain and Ireland. It flies to China, Japan and South Korea in East Asia and the only country it flies to in South West Asia is Israel. The air service also offers air travel to Australia. In India, Air Canada flies to Delhi.
As of 24th July 2009, the fleet of Air Canada consisted of 202 aircrafts. They include Airbus A319-100, Airbus A320-200, Airbus A321-200, Airbus A330-300, Boeing 767-300ER, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787-8, Embraer 175 and Embraer 190. Apart from that, it has placed orders for 37 Boeing 787-8. As of February 2009, the average fleet age of Air Canada was 8.8 years.
Alliances & Achievements
Air Canada, in partnership with Jazz (Canada's largest regional carrier, another subsidiary unit of ACE), operates an extensive domestic, trans-border and international network. They have a combined fleet of 322 aircrafts. Air Canada is a founding member of the Star Alliance, the world's largest airline alliance group. It is apparently the first air carrier to have used turbine technology on its entire fleet, in order to cut down the operational costs and boost productivity. It is also believed to be the first airline to pioneer in jet freighter service using DC-8 equipment.
Air Canada gives two types of service on board. For longer international routes, Executive First Class and Economy Class are offered. On domestic or shorter routes, it offers Executive Class and Economy Class. Air Canada also offers vacation packages to Caribbean, Florida, Hawaii, Mexico, Las Vegas, Central and South America, and Asia. Its Maple Leaf lounges are open for Executive First Class and Executive Class passengers, apart from Super Elite, Elite, and Star Alliance Gold passengers. The option to avail this facility is available at the time of ticket purchase.