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Team Air Canada prepares for 2010 Winter Games

phps5jvqwpm2July 8, 2009, Vancouver - Air Canada took delivery of its 18th Boeing 777, sporting a livery in recognition of its role as Official Airline of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.


July 8, 2009
By Carey Fredericks
   
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July 8, 2009, Vancouver – Air Canada took delivery today in Vancouver of its 18th Boeing 777 aircraft, sporting a specially designed livery from nose to tail in recognition of the carrier's role as Official Airline of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. With the delivery of fin 742, a 777-300ER, Air Canada completes its fleet-wide renewal program, giving the carrier one of the youngest, fuel efficient fleets in the world with an average age of just nine years.

At a ceremony today to receive the new aircraft, the airline and its partners, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) and Vancouver Airport Authority, outlined preparations for the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. To meet increased travel demand on peak days during the Games, Air Canada announced that it will introduce non-stop service from Vancouver to Frankfurt, Paris, Geneva and Zurich, in addition to its year round non-stop London service.

Air Canada also unveiled an athlete recognition program to provide Canada's Olympic and Paralympic athletes with premium travel benefits during their travels as they prepare for the Games. Air Canada's "Elite Podium" program offers Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Team members, including athletes, coaches and mission staff, upgrades to North American Executive Class and international Executive First service, as well as priority check-in, priority boarding, increased checked baggage allowance for a third piece and access to Air Canada's Maple Leaf Lounges.

"As the Official Airline of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, Air Canada is fully committed to transporting Canada's Olympians and Paralympians as they strive to go for gold through extensive training that often involves widespread travel," said Air Canada's President and Chief Executive Officer, Calin Rovinescu, at a ceremony today at the carrier's Vancouver Operations Centre. "On behalf of the Air Canada team, we are immensely proud to serve the athletes, coaches and fans who have already travelled on Air Canada for past Games, and we look forward to continuing to welcome them aboard for the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. Together with our partners, including VANOC and Vancouver Airport Authority, plans are well under way to bring the world to Vancouver for this exceptional event and source of pride in 2010."

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To mark the occasion, Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls at today's ceremony officially unveiled Air Canada's Vancouver 2010-themed aircraft that carries a 53-metre long bold graphic design that will publicize the 2010 Winter Games at major airports in Canada and throughout the airline's world wide network. Air Canada will operate the 349-seat Boeing 777-300ER to key European and Asian destinations such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong beginning July 16th.

"This Games-branded plane is a stunning way to showcase to the world Air Canada's support for the 2010 Winter Games," said John Furlong, VANOC CEO. "Air Canada has been connecting the world to the Games since they became our official airline in 2007. Now they'll be flying our signature look across the country and internationally, a compelling visual reminder that these are Canada's Games in partnership with Canada's airline. I also congratulate Air Canada on their new Elite Podium program, which will ensure Canadian athletes preparing for 2010 travel in full comfort and are ready for action as soon as they arrive at their destination."

The images depicted on the aircraft embody the Vancouver 2010 Look of the Games which includes a fusion of Canada's natural, urban and cultural elements and features colours and shapes representing ocean, forest, mountains and sky. The plane's sport illustrations include snowboard parallel giant slalom, ice hockey and cross-country skiing on one side, and alpine skiing, ice sledge hockey and ski jumping on the other side. The overall design for the aircraft was created by VANOC's in house design team working in partnership with Air Canada.

"Vancouver Airport Authority's long-standing partnership with Air Canada is central to our development as Canada's Asia-Pacific gateway as well as our 2010 Winter Games planning," said Larry Berg, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. "From operations to customer care, working closely with Air Canada enables YVR to successfully deliver a gold medal airport experience for all travellers before, during and after the 2010 Winter Games."

Vancouver Airport Authority and Air Canada are working together closely to ensure a smooth operation with improved and expanded airport facilities. Tomorrow, the Airport Authority and Air Canada officially open a refurbished and expanded Pier C facility at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) where all domestic Air Canada and Jazz flights will be consolidated. Air Canada customers will benefit from easier domestic Canada connections for themselves and their baggage, as well as more convenient access to Air Canada's international and U.S. transborder flights in the adjacent concourse. During the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, in addition to an expanded baggage area specially built for handling winter sports equipment, two offsite check-in areas will be made available for athletes and officials at the Olympic Villages in Vancouver and Whistler.

Vancouver is a major hub for Air Canada's domestic, U.S. transborder and international networks and is the airline's main North American gateway to and from Asia and Australia. Air Canada has developed its Vancouver hub to offer Canadians access to the world and international visitors easy access to the Host City for Canada's Games in 2010.