Air Canada is the flag carrier and the largest airline of Canada by the size and passengers carried. Air Canada maintains its headquarters in the borough of Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec. The airline, founded in 1937, provides scheduled and charter air transport for passengers and cargo to 222 destinations worldwide. It is a founding member of the Star Alliance. Air Canada’s major hubs are at Montréal–Trudeau International Airport (YUL), Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Calgary International Airport (YYC), and Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The airline’s regional service is Air Canada Express.
Canada’s national airline originated from the Canadian federal government’s 1936 creation of Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA), which began operating its first transcontinental flight routes in 1938. In 1965, TCA was renamed Air Canada following government approval. After the deregulation of the Canadian airline market in the 1980s, the airline was privatized in 1988. On 4 January 2000, Air Canada took over its largest rival, Canadian Airlines. In 2003, the airline filed for bankruptcy protection and in the following year emerged and reorganized under the holding company ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. In 2017, Air Canada flew 48 million passengers, as the airline celebrated its 80th anniversary. In October 2021, the Government of Canada acquired 6.4% of Air Canada, and has not ruled out further investment.
Air Canada has a fleet of Airbus A330, Boeing 777, and Boeing 787 Dreamliner wide-body aircraft on long-haul routes and uses the Airbus A320 family aircraft (including the A320 and A321 variants), Boeing 737 MAX 8, and Airbus A220-300 aircraft on short-haul routes. The carrier’s operating divisions include Air Canada Cargo, Air Canada Express, Air Canada Jetz (private jet charters), and Air Canada Rouge (leisure airline). Its subsidiary, Air Canada Vacations, provides vacation packages to over 90 destinations. Together with its regional partners, the airline operates on average more than 1,613 scheduled flights daily.