Air Canada’s Rapidair flight AC439 from Montreal to Toronto on June 2, 2020 marks the end of an era as the airline retires the last aircraft it its mainline Boeing 767 fleet.
The 767s have been a workhorse for Air Canada since the first one was delivered in October 1982 (a 767-233, FIN number 601, registered as C-GAUB). That aircraft began transcontinental service on February 14, 1983. After more than 20 years in the skies, the aircraft was retired in 2005.
Between 1982 and 1996, Air Canada would take possession of 25 more 767s, with the first extended range variants for overwater operations arriving in 1984. When Air Canada merged with Canadian Airlines in 2001, another 23 of these widebodies would join the fleet.
Air Canada launched its leisure brand Rouge on July 1, 2013 with a total of four aircraft, of which two were 767s flying to Edinburgh, Venice, and Athens. Air Canada Rouge eventually expanded to include 25 of the long-range 767-300ERs that served mainly European and sun destinations. In May 2020, Air Canada announced that in addition to the planned retirement of the remaining five 767s in its mainline fleet, the 767s from Rouge would also be retired from service.
Air Canada’s 767s made history when the first ever air-to-ground telephone service by a Canadian airline was offered on February 9, 1986, during AC915 between Miami to Toronto. Also in February 1986, Executive Class was introduced on the 767s.
Air Canada Boeing 767 Fin 682 (C-FCAE) registered over 138,000 flying hours before it was retired on August 1, 2019, making it the world leader in terms of flying hours for the fleet type. The aircraft was sold late last year to another airline which is currently converting it for cargo operations.
The 767 was initially designed to be operated with a three-pilot crew. Although Air Canada’s first few 767s had an extra-large flight deck, they were configured to be operated by two pilots.
The 767 was the first aircraft to receive 120-minute ETOPS (extended twin-engine operations) approval in 1985, meaning it could operate two hours away from the nearest airport, making oceanic crossings more efficient. This was increased to 180 minutes in 1988.
Air Canada flew 23 B767-200 and -200ER (extended range version) aircraft with the variants being retired in 2008. Most of these aircraft were parked in the desert in Mojave, California and some in Roswell, New Mexico.
Some 767s were retrofitted with winglets for fuel efficiency. The winglets are 11 feet tall! Winglets reduce drag and increase lift at the end of the wings and reduce fuel consumption by helping jets more efficiently slice through the air.
The mainline Boeing 767 has a seating capacity of 24 in Air Canada Signature Class and 187 in Economy. It has a range of 10,549 kilometres at a cruising altitude of up to 41,000 feet and a cruising speed of 853 kilometres per hour. Cargo capacity in the belly is a maximum of 14,800 kilograms.
The longest scheduled nonstop flight by an Air Canada 767 was Toronto to Tokyo, which lasted 13:45 and covered 10,324 kilometres.
The Boeing 767 served a number of special missions during its time at Air Canada, including for the annual Dreams Take Flight special charity flights from eight cities across Canada giving special children a trip of a lifetime to a world-renowned theme park in California or Florida.
MONTREAL, Dec. 17, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada said today that Rouge Wi-Fi high-speed satellite-based connectivity provided by Gogo is now available across the entire Air Canada Rouge fleet of 65 aircraft that fly globally and across North America.
“Customers now can access Rouge Wi-Fi high-speed internet connectivity on their own devices whenever they are onboard an Air Canada Rouge aircraft anywhere in the world, giving everyone the ability to stay connected to email, surf the web, or stream their favourite movies and TV shows from services like Netflix and YouTube. We are excited to now offer fast, reliable wi-fi options onboard all Rouge aircraft for the increasing numbers of customers seeking connectivity when flying,” said Andrew Yiu, Vice President, Product at Air Canada.
Customers can choose from a selection of Wi-Fi packages to suit their requirements with starting prices of $8.50 CAD simply by connecting to the “Rouge Wi-Fi” network onboard and following the instructions.
In addition to the full Air Canada Rouge fleet, satellite based Wi-Fi is already available on all Air Canada Boeing 777s, and most Boeing 787s and Airbus A330s with the remainder to be completed early 2020. Air Canada Wi-Fi connectivity is also available across the carrier’s entire mainline narrow body fleet and the Air Canada Express Embraer 175 and Bombardier CRJ-900 fleets. Air Canada’s new Airbus A220 fleet which it begins taking delivery of before the end of 2019 will come equipped with satellite based wi-fi.
Air Canada Rouge flight returned to Vancouver after the Boeing
767-300’s cabin filled with the odor from a shipment of durian fruit
– whose odor is often compared to rotting meat.
Details from the flight on Air Canada‘s
(TSX:AC) low-cost subsidiary emerged in the incident report provided
to FreightWaves by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSBC) on
troubles arose shortly after the 767 took off from Vancouver
International Airport on September 17 with 245 passengers and eight
crew, destined for Montreal. Crew members first noticed a “strong odor”
while the aircraft was at 7,000 feet above sea level, according to the
flight crew leveled off at 25,000 feet to troubleshoot the problem
after failing to clear the smell from the cabin. They then declared a
PAN-PAN, indicating an urgent but not immediately dangerous situation,
“donned their oxygen masks and returned to land” in Vancouver, the TSBC
durian shipment in the forward cargo compartment was identified as the
source of the odor and removed from the flight. The aircraft then
returned to service. No injuries were reported.
incident aboard the Air Canada Rouge flight isn’t the first time durian
has caused problems as a cargo. The smell from two metric tons led to a
temporary grounding of a flight in Indonesia in November 2018.
Needless to say, the airline probably will think twice before accepting a shipment of the prized but noxious fruit.
Only North American Airline to Operate flights to Romania
MONTREAL, June 8, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – The arrival of Air Canada flight 1928 at Bucharest’s Henri Coandă International Airport marks the launch of twice weekly Air Canada Rouge seasonal service to Bucharest, Romania. Flights will be operated with Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767-300ER aircraft featuring Premium Rouge and Economy class service and are timed to optimize connectivity from across Air Canada’s network through Air Canada’s Montreal hub.
“As the only North American airline flying to Romania, the largest European market without trans-Atlantic flights, we are extremely proud to launch our first Montreal-Bucharest flight, strengthening even further Air Canada’s presence in Southeastern Europe,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada. “Air Canada’s on-going commitment to grow Montreal as an important hub in our global network provides customers greater choice, as well as the ability to conveniently connect onward through our extensive North American and International network.”