Air Canada celebrates 60 years of service to Barbados

MONTREAL, Dec. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - When Air Canada flight AC966 touches down at Grantley Adams International Airport in Bridgetown this afternoon it will mark 60 years of air service between Canada and the island nation of Barbados. To celebrate the occasion Air Canada is offering a special web fare for flights to and from Barbados.

"Air Canada was the first North American airline with scheduled service to Barbados and has a proud tradition of serving the island. For sixty years Canadians have travelled on our airline to Barbados to enjoy its beautiful beaches and other attractions while many Barbados residents have visited or have relatives and friends in Canada. Last year, Air Canada carried nearly 120,000 people between Canada and Barbados and we are pleased to serve as a link between the two countries and help sustain the warm relationship our nations enjoy," said Yves Dufresne, Vice President of Alliances, International Operations and Regulatory Affairs at Air Canada.

To mark the anniversary, Air Canada is introducing a web only sale offering $60 off each way on Tango Plus, Latitude and Executive fares for Barbados. The sale begins today and runs until December 12 for travel between December 2, 2009 and March 31, 2010.

It was 60 years ago that Air Canada, then known as Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA), inaugurated weekly passenger services between Canada and Barbados when its 44-passenger propeller aircraft, the Canadair DC-4M "North Star", landed on the coral surfaced runway in the early morning of December 3rd, 1949.

Flight time out of Toronto on that inaugural flight was 15 hours with stops in the Bahamas and Jamaica. Today, the direct flight takes little more than five hours and this winter Air Canada will offer daily non-stop Toronto-Barbados service operating a 211-seat Boeing 767-300. There will be supplemental service on weekends with an additional flight from Toronto and Montreal using a 120-passenger Airbus A319 on Saturday and Sunday.

During the first year of operation, TCA carried about 1,500 passengers and 5,681 kilos of cargo. In 2008, Air Canada carried 117,191 passengers between Canada and Barbados with 172,867 kilos of cargo on a total of more than 900 flights to and from Barbados.

Over the past 60 years, the number of destinations to the Caribbean and Bermuda served by Air Canada has increased to 25, with at least one airport served on the following Caribbean islands: Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Grand Cayman, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, and Turks and Caicos.

    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.

SOURCE Air Canada

For further information: For further information: Isabelle Arthur (Montréal), (514) 422-5788; Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto), (416) 263-5576; Angela Mah (Vancouver), (604) 270-5741;

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