MONTREAL, Feb. 29, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - In celebration of its 75 years of community involvement, Air Canada announced today the launch of the Air Canada Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on the health and well-being of children in need.
"Throughout its history, Air Canada has recognized the importance of giving back to the communities it serves in Canada and abroad," said Air Canada President and CEO Calin Rovinescu. "The creation of a foundation is the natural evolution for our community investment efforts of the past seventy-five years, and brings together all our various initiatives under one banner. Ever mindful that there are many who are less fortunate and in need of help, our objective is to raise the profile of the causes we support and create new opportunities for giving."
The Air Canada Foundation will offer support primarily by providing free flights and Aeroplan miles to hospitals and charitable organizations in Canada and elsewhere in the world as Air Canada's Kids Horizons Program did in the past. To supplement travel initiatives with financial assistance, the airline will now engage directly in fundraising activity such as the Every Bit Counts program which encourages customers to donate loose change of all denominations onboard or through airport collection containers.
The Foundation will support core programs. Key among these is The Hospital Transportation Program, which donates Aeroplan miles to 15 pediatric hospitals across Canada so children can travel to obtain medical care unavailable locally. Other programs provide charities with Air Canada tickets for fundraising activities. The Air Canada Volunteer Involvement Program encourages employees to give back to their local community by providing those involved with community groups with tickets to raise money while the employee-led charitable organization, Dreams Take Flight, each year flies hundreds of ill and disadvantaged children to Disney for a day of making wishes come true.
While the Foundation's primary focus is the health and well-being of children, it will also offer continued support to major health-related causes that benefit Canadians and will be an active participant in international humanitarian relief activity as the need arises.
For more information about The Air Canada Foundation, please visit www.aircanada.com/foundation
About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 180 destinations on five continents. Canada's flag carrier is the 15th largest commercial airline in the world and in 2011 served more than 33 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 60 Canadian cities, 57 destinations in the United States and 63 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,290 destinations in 189 countries. In 2011, Air Canada was ranked Best International Airline in North America in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers conducted by independent research firm Skytrax.
For further information:
Isabelle Arthur (Montréal) 514 422-5788
Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto) 416 263-5576
Angela Mah (Vancouver) 604 270-5741
Internet : aircanada.com