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The airline first came into being on April 10, 1937, when Trans-Canada Air Lines was incorporated by an Act of Parliament to coordinate air transport across Canada's broad expanse. Its means? $5 million and three airplanes: two Lockheed Electras and a Stearman, fresh from crop-dusting duties. Who would have thought it would mark the takeoff toward 75 years of innovation?

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Apr 1937

Trans-Canada Air Lines is Born

Apr 10 1937

Canada Gets its Wings

Apr 10 1937

TCA's first officer

Jul 30 1937

Trans-Canada Survey Flight

Sep 1 1937

Passengers fly!

Dec 1937

TCA's takeoff


Year 1938

Pilot recruitment & training

Year 1938

TCA invents de-icing

Jul 1 1938

TCA’s first flight attendant

Jul 2 1938

Flight attendant uniforms

Sep 19 1938

Airmail is speedy!

Dec 1938

1938 at a glance


Year 1939

Quality assurance

Apr 1 1939

Passengers cross Canada!

May 1939

First-time flyer writes home

Sep 1939

The first signs of WWII

Nov 1939

Chewing gum & smelling salts

Dec 1939

1939 at a glance


Year 1940

Teletype service links airports

Year 1940

Winnipeg’s repair facilities grow

Year 1940

Letter from a station manager

Aug 8 1940

Little miss TCA!


Year 1941

Babe Ruth flies TCA

May 10 1941

Making it in New York

Dec 6 1941

Dale Carnegie flies TCA


Year 1942

Women at work

Year 1942

Employees just want to have fun

Year 1942

Canadian Pacific Airlines is born

May 1 1942

Newfoundland on the map

Dec 1942

And the fleet keeps growing...


Year 1943

Tip Top Tailors uniform

Jul 22 1943

TCA crosses the Atlantic


Mar 1944

RCAF pilots join TCA

Nov 7 1944

IATA moves to Canada


Year 1945

London bound

Jun 1945

Tuning radio frequencies

Dec 24 1945

Letter from a passenger


Year 1946

Hot meals hit the skies

Year 1946

Nylons return post-war

Year 1946

Toasty new heaters

Year 1946

TCA’s post-war growth spurt

Jan 1946

Million Milers milestone

Dec 1946

Breaking trans-Atlantic records


Year 1947

Setting the stage for food cargo

Year 1947

Frozen meals take off

Jul 1 1947

North Stars lead the fleet

Aug 1947

North Star beauties!


Year 1948

G. R. McGregor becomes president

Year 1948

Aircargo is airborn

Year 1948

TCA brings in new Canadians

Year 1948

Off to Bermuda

Year 1948

New daily border crossings

Oct 29 1948

Hon. Lester B. Pearson flies TCA

Dec 1948

Aircargo changes Canadian dining

Dec 31 1948

TCA’s 2-millionth passenger


Year 1949

Pilot hits 10,000 flying hours

Year 1949

Employee moustache competition!

Year 1949

Letters fly farther, faster

Year 1949

Ronald Reagan flies TCA

May 1949

Women learn to travel light

May 1949

Breakfast on the fly


Year 1950

Letter from a first-time flyer

Apr 1 1950

Bob Hope flies TCA

May 18 1950

Red River flood relief

Jul 1950

TCA’s 3-millionth passenger

Jul 7 1950

Frank Sinatra flies TCA

Aug 1950

Mystery flights promote travel

Aug 22 1950

Rail strike gets people flying


Year 1951

Flight attendant school

Year 1951

Aircargo business flourishes


Year 1952

Louis Armstrong flies TCA

Year 1952

TCA turns 15!


May 1953

Sharp new employee uniforms

Dec 1953

Bristol Freighters haul cargo


Year 1954

Super Constellation graces skies

Year 1954

Five million ticket buyers!

Year 1954

Gina Lollobrigida flies TCA

Jan 1 1954

TCA becomes Air Canada... en français

Feb 1 1954

Introducing low-cost fares


Apr 1 1955

TCA welcomes gallant Viscount

May 1955

All hail anti-skid brakes

Dec 1955

TCA's 10-millionth passenger


Year 1956

Early cargo & baggage handling

Jun 1 1956

New high standards


Year 1957

Vanguard costs pretty penny

Jun 1 1957

TCA flies non-stop across Canada!

Dec 1957

Routing ramps up across Canada


Year 1958

Weather alert

Year 1958

Making the first flight recorder

Apr 1958

Hello, In flight magazine!

Jul 1958

Father & son team fly Atlantic


Year 1959

Spectacular personnel growth

Year 1959

Airport boom

Year 1959

Letter from a cargo worker


Jun 1 1960

Welcome to the Jet Age!


Year 1961

De-icing goes electric

Year 1961

Ravioli arrives al dente

Year 1961

Shipping a roast pig to Churchill!


Year 1962

TCA turns 25

Year 1962

Tireless work of ticket agents

Year 1962

Dominion store flies bacon galore

Jun 7 1962

Queen Mother flies TCA


Year 1963

World's first all-jet airline

Year 1963

TCA package to Toronto a hit!

Year 1963

Fish fly!

Jan 24 1963

Computerized reservations

Oct 1963

Jet Trader carries big loads


Year 1964

TCA ships priceless diamonds

Year 1964

Selling Canada to the world

Oct 1964

Toronto Maple Leafs fly TCA

Oct 3 1964

DC-8 sets (Olympic) record


Year 1965

Grace Kelly flies TCA

Year 1965

Covered passenger walkways

Year 1965

Inventing the black box

Year 1965

Beatles replicas fly to Montreal

Year 1965

Enjoying a faux Euro flight

Jan 1 1965

TCA becomes Air Canada!

May 1965

Chubby Checker flies with us


Year 1966

Peter Fonda flies with us

Year 1966

Letter from a flight attendant

Year 1966

DC-9 in service

Year 1966

Interior tour of the DC-9

Nov 1 1966

Air Canada lands in Moscow


Year 1967

Welcome to Expo 67!

Year 1967

Warren Beatty flies with us

Year 1967

Montreal smoked meat stars in L.A.

Mar 29 1967

Calling all hockey fans!

May 26 1967

"I Dream of Jeannie" stars fly with us

Jun 1967

Letter from a research analyst


Year 1968

Fernandel flies Air Canada

Year 1968

Gordon McGregor retires

Year 1968

Satchmo flies Air Canada


Year 1969

Henry Miller flies with us

Year 1969

Diana Ross & The Supremes!

May 26 1969

John & Yoko fly Air Canada

Aug 6 1969

Ravi Shankar flies with us


Year 1970

Cows enter the jet set, too

Year 1970

Reservations get even faster

Year 1970

Safety measures


Year 1971

The jumbo jets arrive!

Year 1971

Boeing 747-100 being built


Year 1972

Scoring Jamaican hockey gloves

Year 1972

Letter from a captain

Year 1972

Rapidair makes commute faster

Year 1972

Stylish walkway

Sep 1972

Hockey fans travel to Moscow

Sep 8 1972

A piece of the competition

Nov 1972

Shoppers, unite!


Year 1973

Flight attendants party!

Year 1973

A uniform for every taste

Year 1973

Better border crossings

Mar 15 1973

Introducing the TriStar


Year 1974

Rewarding great employees

Jul 1974

Cowboys & airplanes in Calgary

Oct 1974

Boeing 727 enhances Rapidair


Jan 29 1975

In comes the Combi


Year 1976

Letter from a past president

Year 1976

California fruit cargo

Year 1976

Letter from a sales auditor

Dec 1976

Billion dollar year


Apr 1977

The Reagans fly Air Canada

Apr 10 1977

40 years old and faster than ever


Year 1978

Red, white, blue & new

Apr 10 1978

Air Canada’s first female pilot


Year 1979

Racehorse flies by


Year 1980

Award-winning productivity

Year 1980

Big bucks for Boeing 767s

Dec 1980

1980 milestones


Year 1981

Boy Scouts fly en masse


Year 1982

Introducing the Boeing 767s

Year 1982

Kitted up, just in case

Oct 5 1982

Helping explorers to new heights


Year 1983

Seat sales take off


Year 1984

Go go Air Canada Cargo!

Year 1984

The sky’s the limit in Europe

Year 1984

Letter from a past president and CEO

Jan 1984

Historic aircraft sees new life

Jul 1984

The birth of Aeroplan

Sep 1984

Pope John Paul II flies AC

Dec 1984

Holiday gifts for charity


Year 1985

New in-flight catering order

Year 1985

Flight attendant's 15 minutes of fame

Jan 15 1985

Longest route yet!


Year 1986

Helping hand for Mother Teresa

Year 1986

Flying to the finish line

Year 1986

Non-smoking catches on

May 10 1986

Lockheed Electra flies again


Year 1987

50 years warrants a stamp!

Year 1987

Big numbers for a big year


Year 1988

AC feeds athletes

Aug 18 1988

Air Canada privatizes


Aug 1989

Employee flying high


Year 1990

Making of an Airbus

Jan 25 1990

Airbus A320 joins the fleet

May 3 1990

Airbus delivers twins!

Oct 1990

No smoking fleet-wide


Year 1991

Training for the Airbus A320


Year 1992

Strongman pulls jumbo jet

Year 1992

Letter from a past president and CEO

Jun 1992

HQ on the move


Year 1993

Old man flying


Year 1994

Big in Japan

Year 1994

Meet the chef

Mar 1994

Farewell to the DC-8


Year 1995

White House, here we come

Jun 1995

Buying the A340

Jun 1 1995

Air Canada gets online

Dec 7 1995

Tickets go electro


Year 1996

Raptors take flight

Year 1996

Showing our Canadian colours

Year 1996

Letter from a past president and CEO

Dec 1996

New Airbus joins the family


Year 1997

The year at a glance

May 1997

Star Alliance is born

May 1997

Letter from a passenger


Year 1998

Come lounge with us


Year 1999

Self-service kiosks arrive

Year 1999

F1 on track


Year 2000

Hello, Tokyo!

Year 2000

Letter from a past President

Jun 14 2000

Interline tickets fly you farther


Year 2001

Here’s to good wine

Year 2001

Time to Tango

Jan 1 2001

Toward a merger with Canadian


Year 2002

Air Canada's pet hotel

Year 2002

Star Alliance a soaring success

Year 2002

65 years of flying colours

Sep 25 2002

Vintage Lockheed flies again

Oct 2002

Air Canada Jetz for the pros


May 28 2003

Citizen of the Year


Year 2004

On the campaign trail

Year 2004

Canada’s proud airline

Year 2004

Giving new meaning to Super Elite

Apr 2004

Giving commuters Latitude

Jul 2004

Celine Dion sings our song

Dec 2004

Providing tsunami relief


Year 2005

Entertainment for everyone!

Year 2005

Taking U2 on tour

Year 2005

Talk about hands-on staff!

Jul 20 2005

Introducing the Embraer

Sep 5 2005

Aiding New Orleans


Year 2006

Flying your way

Jan 14 2006

Aircraft's new life under water

Mar 22 2006

Lockheed goes up, up, waaay up

Oct 2006

Revolutionizing seating


Year 2007

70 years is cause for a party!

Year 2007

Inflight Film Festival

Feb 2007

Letter from a cargo agent

Sep 21 2007

Mobile check-in


Year 2008

Towards fuel efficiency

May 2008

Carbon offset


Year 2009

You will be notified

Apr 2009

Our new president and CEO


Jan 12 2010

Helping Haiti

Feb 2010

Sponsoring our Canadian champs!

Mar 2010

Air Canada reaches Iqaluit

Nov 2 2010

Cargo app has employee to thank

Dec 2010

Vancouver airport flashmob


Year 2011

Award-winning and proud of it

Year 2011

Winnipeg’s new airport

Aug 2011

Engaging in fuel saving

Aug 17 2011

Air Canada Sings

Dec 2011

Marriage proposal aims sky high

Dec 20 2011

Staff sings happy holidays

Dec 22 2011

Huffing and puffin


Year 2012

DJ in the sky

May 2012

More entertaining

May 13 2012

Emilio Fina's got talent

Jul 2012

Celebrating the best!


Year 2014

Future of flight...

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The First Five Years - TCA’s takeoff
In the early 1930s no air service spans our vast nation and most Canadians can’t imagine flying. With a few good men, $5 million, two Lockheed Electras and a Stearman fresh from crop-dusting duties, the company takes off flying.
The First Five Years - Lockheed 14 Super Electra
Years in operation: 1938-1948
An improved version of the original Lockheed 10A (TCA’s first plane), these silver birds are now vintage beauties.
1940s - Growth spurt
Assisting in the war effort, TCA charts the hazardous Atlantic crossing. Thanks to improvements in airports and navigation technology – like radio – that help manage Canada’s weather extremes, the staff’s sense of pride and unity grows along with its fleet and route map.
1940s - Canadair North Star
Years in operation: 1947-1961
These Canadian-made planes became the first pressurized four-engine aircraft in the fleet. The first model, the C-54GM was loaned to TCA by the RCAF and was unpressurized.
1950s - Passion and purpose
In anticipation of the jet age, the airline expands its route network and flies more Canadians (and increasingly exotic goods) farther than ever before, both throughout Canada and around the world.
1950s - Vickers Viscount
Years in operation: 1955-1974
TCA became the first North American carrier to bring turbine driven aircraft into service with the gallant Vickers Viscount. The 48-passenger aircraft cruised at a speed of 507 km per hour.
1960s - The Jet Age
With the purchase of the exciting DC-8 aircraft, the first commercial jet, TCA – which becomes Air Canada in 1965 – revolutionizes the airline industry and cuts flying time in half.
1960s - McDonnell Douglas DC-9
Years in operation: 1966-2002
The fleet’s workhorse, this second-generation jet improved Canadian transcontinental routes. Retrofitted models served in the fleet for over 45 years.
1970s - OK computer
Computers improve ticketing and reservation systems and make for more efficient flying. The company’s ambitions are embodied in the Boeing 747, the biggest bird to ever take to the skies.
1970s - Lockheed L-1011-100 TriStar
Years in operation: 1973-1996
This smaller medium- to long-range aircraft had a galley located under the passenger floor, in the belly of the cabin, in which meals were prepared and brought up by elevator.
1980s - Global reach
Now privatized, Air Canada celebrates world-class service and its new place on the global commercial stage by offering more and more flights within Europe.
1980s - Boeing 747
Years in operation: 1971-2006
Air Canada became the first Canadian airline to introduce the 747 into service across Canada and in Europe. These huge birds offered a spaciousness and luxury new to commercial aircraft.
1990s - Network era
Air Canada joins the international network, building ties with other airlines by founding Star Alliance(TM) and introducing electronic ticketing, self-serve kiosks and the company’s first website.
1990s - Airbus 340
Years in operation: 1995- 2008
The Airbus 340 is an efficient long-range, four-engine wide-body passenger jet with a cruising speed of 869 km/hour. The A-340 first flew between Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa on June 21, 1995.
2000s - Smart Mobility
Flying has become easy, comfortable and personalized to passengers’ tastes thanks to the introduction of personal seatback entertainment systems, wireless ticket services and smartphone apps that adapt to the speed of contemporary life.
2000s – Boeing 777-300
Years in operation: 2007-present
The world’s largest twinjet is more commonly referred to as the “Triple Seven.” It can carry over 300 passengers, and has a range of 9068 miles.
2010s - Flying into the future
Voted Best International Airline in North America in the Skytrax World Airline Awards three years running. With the groundbreaking Boeing 787 set to join the fleet, the future of flight is about to get new wings.
2010s – Boeing 777-300
Years in operation: 2007-present
The world’s largest twinjet is more commonly referred to as the “Triple Seven.” It can carry over 300 passengers, and has a range of 9068 miles.
1937 2012