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Team Air Canada prepares for Vancouver 2010 Winter Games


    - Fleet renewal complete with delivery of Vancouver 2010-themed Boeing
      777 aircraft
    - Launches Elite recognition program to benefit Olympic and Paralympic
      athletes
    - Ramps up operations for 2010 Winter Games travel in partnership with
      Vancouver Airport Authority

    VANCOUVER, July 8 /CNW Telbec/ - 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."
    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.

    About Air Canada

    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 13th largest commercial airline in
the world and serves 33 million customers annually. Air Canada is a founding
member of Star Alliance, providing the world's most comprehensive air
transportation network. Visit www.aircanada.com.

    About VANOC

    VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging
of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The
2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from
February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic
Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

    About Vancouver Airport Authority

    Vancouver Airport Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit
organization that operates Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Canada's
second busiest airport, YVR welcomed 17.9 million people in 2008, and is the
Official Airport of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. 70
airlines serve YVR, including scheduled carriers, charters, code share and
cargo carriers which connect travellers to more than 130 destinations in
Canada, the U.S. and around the world. Visit yvr.ca.

    Note to Photo Editors:

    High resolution, downloadable color photos of the Air Canada event will
be available http://www.aircanada.com/en/about/media/facts/logo.html under
"Facts and Photos".

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information: Air Canada: Isabelle Arthur (Montréal), (514)
422-5788; Angela Mah (Vancouver), (604) 270-5741; Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto),
(416) 263-5576; Vancouver 2010: Jason Macnaughton, (604) 403-2734,
Jason_macnaughton@vancouver2010.com; Vancouver Airport Authority: Media
Relations, (604) 880-9815; Internet: aircanada.com; vancouver2010.com; yvr.ca


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