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Air Canada celebrates 75th anniversary

March 5, 2012, Toronto - Thousands of Air Canada customers, employees and suppliers are took part in an open house event in Toronto on Friday to kick off a year-long celebration of the airline's 75th anniversary.


March 5, 2012
By Carey Fredericks

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 AirCanada 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 Postage™ 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.