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Air Canada ranked 'Best Airline in North America' in world's largest survey of air travellers

MONTREAL, July 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada has been ranked as 'Best Airline in North America' in the world's largest survey of air travelers. The exhaustive passenger survey of over 14 million air travelers was conducted by the independent UK-based research firm Skytrax between August 2006 and June 2007 using 40 different aspects of passenger satisfaction for each airline's product and service standards. This independent passenger survey is highly regarded in the air transportation industry as a primary benchmarking tool for passenger satisfaction levels of airlines throughout the world. It is the second time in three years that Air Canada has placed first among North American carriers. Star Alliance, of which Air Canada is a founding member, was ranked as Best Airline Alliance.

"We are thrilled to be acknowledged by air travelers around the world as the best airline in North America for the second time in just three years," said Montie Brewer, President and CEO of Air Canada. "I am very proud of our employees and congratulate them on this positive recognition of their efforts to provide our customers with a superior travel experience - bar none. This award confirms that our product innovations coupled quality service delivery and the introduction of brand new, customer friendly and fuel efficient aircraft is truly what our customers want."

Air Canada is recognized as leading the industry in developing innovative à-la-carte fare products and subscription passes that use web-based technologies to simplify air travel. In addition, Air Canada has been renewing its international fleet with state-of-the-art Boeing 777 aircraft since March 2007, and its North American fleet since 2005 with new Embraer aircraft featuring a choice of two cabins of service. A major refurbishment of the carrier's existing fleet is well-under way, providing customers with interior upgrades that include brand new seats and personal entertainment systems at each seat. New fleet-wide amenities include digital quality in-seat monitors with touch-screen controls offering a wide selection of audio and video on demand programming, standard 110V in-seat power outlets within reach of every customer and industry leading lie-flat beds in Executive First, Air Canada's international premium service.

Air Canada's achievements have been honoured recently by consumers and the industry. This year, Washington D.C.-based Air Transport World, gave Air Canada Air Transport World's Market Leadership Award based on the airline's success in implementing an innovative and transparent pricing structure, its use of online technology to meet consumers' needs and its fleet-wide renewal with a consistent, market-leading onboard product among North American airlines. Air Canada was also voted 'Best Airline in North America' and 'Best Airline in Canada' by readers of the U.S. frequent flyer magazine, Global Traveler, and the carrier was voted 'Best Business Class to Canada' by the readers of Business Traveler magazine.

Skytrax World Airline Awards is the established, global barometer of passenger opinions about airlines around the world. Free of outside or financial influences, it is the only airline survey that achieves a truly worldwide audience - comprising more than 93 different respondent nationalities in 2007. Further information on the Skytrax survey and awards is available at www.worldairlineawards.com/index.htm

Montreal-based Air Canada provides scheduled and charter air transportation for passengers and cargo to more than 170 destinations on five continents. Canada's flag carrier is the 14th largest commercial airline in the world and serves 34 million customers annually with a fleet consisting of 335 aircraft. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, providing the world's most comprehensive air transportation network.

For further information: Isabelle Arthur (Montréal), (514) 422-5788; Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto), (416) 263-5576; Angela Mah (Vancouver), (604) 270-5741; Internet: aircanada.com