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Air Canada Celebrates 75th Anniversary with Debut of Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Canada

New super-efficient aircraft to enter Air Canada's fleet in 2014

TORONTO, March 2, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Thousands of Air Canada customers, employees and suppliers are taking part today in an open house event in Toronto to kick off a year-long celebration of the airline's 75th anniversary. The centerpiece of the festivities is a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the world's newest and most modern commercial aircraft, making its inaugural visit to Canada. Air Canada has 37 firm orders plus 13 options for the Dreamliner, with first delivery of the aircraft in 2014.

"Today is a double celebration for Air Canada as we welcome the future, embodied by the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and take stock of our accomplishments over our 75 year history. We have built a proud tradition over three-quarters of a century by being a leader in terms of customer comfort, safety and convenience. Among the many innovations pioneered by Air Canada over our history are developments adopted by our industry over the decades: cabin pressurization, deicing techniques, smoke-free flights, the first computerized reservation system and e-services for customers, to name just a few. Today's visit by the 787 Dreamliner marks another stage of our ongoing evolution and industry leadership. We thank our customers for choosing Air Canada over the past 75 years and we look forward to serving them for the next 75 and beyond," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada.

In addition to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner visit, Air Canada is also marking the day with a number of events and announcements. These include:

  • The launch of the Air Canada Foundation, to manage the airline's community investment programs and raise the profile of the causes Air Canada and its employees support.  The Air Canada Foundation, which will be a registered charity, builds on the former Kids' Horizons Program with a continuing focus on the health and wellness of children and youth. The Foundation's mission is to help bring sick children to the medical care they need, support organizations that alleviate child poverty, and make the wishes of sick and disadvantaged children come true. It achieves these aims by supporting pediatric hospitals, raising funds and providing other assistance to charitable organizations

  • The release of a series of Canada Post Picture Postageā„¢ stamps. Air Canada has commissioned five stamps featuring different aircraft from its fleet over the past 75 years.  Aircraft included in the series are the: Douglas DC-3, 1947; Vickers Vanguard, 1961; Boeing 747-100, 1971; Airbus 340-541, 1999; and Boeing 777-300 ER, 2007. These collectors' stamps will be available for purchase at www.aircanada.com in the near future.

  • A 75-year retrospective fashion show of more than 30 vintage uniforms from each decade of Air Canada's history. The uniforms were recreated in Montreal's fashion district and capture the romance and zeitgeist of their particular era. From sober gabardine in the 1930s to the mod 1960s and plaids of the 1970s, the show highlights the evolution of Air Canada's distinctive styling.

  • Air Canada's Lockheed L-10A aircraft. Named after a bright star in the Pleiades star cluster, the 10A Electra was the pride of the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, and in 1937 was the first passenger aircraft in the fleet of Trans-Canada Air Lines, as Air Canada was originally named. In the 1930s, this twin-engine, all-metal monoplane was the exciting new face of commercial aviation. The airline had a fleet of five of these 10-passenger aircraft and one of the originals, still certified to fly, is on display making a stunning contrast with the new Dreamliner.

Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 180 destinations on five continents.  Canada's flag carrier is the 15th largest commercial airline in the world and in 2011 served more than 33 million customers.  Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 60 Canadian cities, 57 destinations in the United States and 63 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,290 destinations in 189 countries. In 2011, Air Canada was ranked Best International Airline in North America in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers conducted by independent research firm Skytrax.

Air Canada's Boeing 787 Dreamliner Fleet

Aircraft on order: 37 firm orders (combination of -800 and -900 series) plus 13 options make Air Canada one of the largest airline clients for the 787 Dreamliner in the Americas.

Delivery dates: The first seven of Air Canada's Boeing 787 aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2014 and the remaining 30 between 2015 and 2019.

Network deployment: Due to its seating capacity and fuel efficiency, the 787 is ideally suited to open up new route opportunities for Air Canada on transpacific, transatlantic and Latin American markets.  Air Canada will announce its plans for deployment of the 787 at a later date.

Fleet renewal: Boeing 787 aircraft will replace the current Boeing 767-300ER and Airbus A330 fleets, renewing Air Canada's fleet (average age 11.6 years as at Dec. 31, 2011) with the world's most fuel efficient aircraft.

Fuel efficiency: Air Canada estimates fuel usage and maintenance costs for a Boeing 787 aircraft to be approximately 30 per cent less than that of the Boeing 767-300ER that it will replace. 

Configuration:  The 787 will carry in the range of 210-290 passengers. Air Canada will announce the cabin configuration (seating plan) for its 787 aircraft at a later date.

Cargo capacity: The 787 provides cargo capacity of up to 17 tonnes - 55 per cent more than the 767-300ER.

Air Canada's first 787 pilot: In preparation for delivery of the aircraft, Air Canada 777 Captain Michael Downey was the first Canadian to operate the 787 and was certified in September 2011 by the FAA to operate the 787, becoming Air Canada's first 787-certified pilot.

Cabin comfort and amenities: The 787 features larger windows, larger overhead bins, higher levels of humidity and increased cabin pressure, all designed to provide increased passenger comfort.  With the arrival of its first 787 aircraft in 2014, Air Canada will be announcing enhancements to its award-winning Executive First lie flat bed suites and Economy class product to offer its customers industry-leading amenities on board.

  • Interior environment with cleaner air and higher humidity to increased comfort and convenience: Fresh air is introduced into the cabin via air scoops on the side of the fuselage. Like most current aircraft, the 787 system includes a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. Newly introduced on the 787 is an additional filtration system to remove odors and other irritants.

  • Lower cabin altitude: The 787's cabin is pressurized to a new maximum level of 1,829 metres (6,000 feet) - 610 metres (2,000 feet) lower than most other aircraft. Tests show that because the body absorbs 8% more oxygen into the blood at this altitude, resulting in a more comfortable traveling experience.

  • Dramatically larger dimmable windows: more than 30 per cent larger than today's similarly sized airplanes. Even passengers not seated at a window will be able to see outside. The windows also don't have conventional shades. Instead, passengers can regulate the intensity of light coming through their windows with the touch of a button. An electrochromic dimming system allows passengers to change the tint of the window from fully transparent to completely dimmed.

  • Bigger bins: Passengers can easily stow at least one large roll-aboard bag in an overhead compartment near their seat, minimizing the need to store bags beneath the seat. The bins store up and away rather than cutting into overhead space like conventional stowage bins. Easy for all passengers to open, load and close. 

  • Dynamic LED lighting: generates less heat than conventional cabin lighting. The lighting can gently simulate a full flying day for longer flights, gradually changing through a spectrum of lighting from day into night. 

Note to Photo Editors: High resolution images suitable for publishing may be downloaded from the Air Canada Media Centre at: http://www.aircanada.com/en/about/media/facts/logo.html



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