Airline Air Canada has been celebrating the country’s 150th anniversary by unveiling a new livery and expanding routes to Israel.
The airline – 80 years old this year – made the announcements ahead of February 15, the National Flag of Canada Day.
Air Canada’s fleet of 300 mainline and regional aircraft are being repainted in a black and white design that highlights its red maple leaf encircled ensign, or “rondelle,” which returns to the tail of the flag carrier’s fleet after an absence of 24 years.
The design was intended to reflect Canada’s vastness and contrasting seasons with references to its wildlife and First Nations heritage.
New uniforms were also premiered. The charcoal grey and black uniforms have red accents and accessories by Canadian designer Christopher Bates. The airline’s pilots, flight attendants, airport customer service agents and approximately two-thirds of its 30,000 global workforce will start wearing their new uniforms later this year.
“Air Canada’s new livery signals a pivotal inflection point in our 80-year history,” said Benjamin Smith, president, passenger airlines at a ceremony in Toronto – where the airline’s largest hub is located.
“The future Air Canada represents the strength of our nation and the future-looking spirit of our airline.”
Air Canada also announced an expansion in services between Canada and Israel, with the introduction of a seasonal non-stop service between Montreal and Tel Aviv and an increase in its current Toronto-Tel Aviv non-stop service to a daily frequency year-round.
New services begin this summer.
“We are pleased to step up our capacity in response to the increased demand in business, leisure and cultural travel between both countries,” said Calin Rovinescu, president and chief executive of Air Canada.
Meanwhile, UK operator Cosmos Tours has said that Canada is the most requested destination through its call centre so far this year and reported an increase of 25% (year on year) during peaks.
Bookings to the Rockies went up by 37% and there was a big growth in departures from regional airports in Manchester, Newcastle and within Scotland.
Jo Hollidge, Cosmos Tours’ North America product and commercial manager, said: “In the two months of our peaks period, Canada has been flavour of the month, with agents contacting us with a high number of requests from customers wanting to find out more about our holidays to the country.”
“There’s a heightened awareness of the appeal of Canada’s spectacular landscapes, national parks and history, and above all, friendliness to visitors which is drawing people to take a holiday particularly during such an important anniversary year. With celebrations happening throughout the country and the exchange rate still representing excellent value for money, this year is a great time to be in Canada.”
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