Air Canada retires last Boeing 767 after 37 years

Jun 4, 2020

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Air Canada has retired its last Boeing 767 after a 37-year run with the airline, part of a broader retirement of jets from its fleet because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Montreal-based carrier flew its last scheduled passenger flight with a 767-300ER from Montreal (YUL) to Toronto Pearson (YYZ) on Tuesday (2 June), Air Canada said Wednesday. The flight, AC439, landed in Toronto at 7:32 p.m. local time.

Air Canada is also retiring the 25 767-300ERs at its budget subsidiary Rouge.

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The crisis has fallen hard on the 767, once a medium-haul workhorse of airline fleets. In addition to Air Canada, American Airlines accelerated the retirement of its 767s and United Airlines is considering retiring its 767-400ERs.

“9/11 killed the 727 and maybe Corona will kill the 767?” said Marty St. George, the former commercial chief at JetBlue Airways, on Twitter in March.

For now in North America, Delta Air Lines, United and WestJet plan to continue flying some of their 767s. Other operators include All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan Airlines (JAL) and bankrupt LATAM Airlines in Chile.

In May, Air Canada outlined plans to retire its 767s, putting them among 79 jets that are leaving its fleet due to the crisis. The move included accelerating the departure of the remaining five aircraft in its mainline fleet, as well as removing all of the 767s at Rouge.

Air Canada does not plan to replace any of the 767s with other aircraft, said CEO Calin Rovinescu in May.

The airline introduced its first 767, a smaller 767-200, on 14 February 1983. The jet flew for both Air Canada and Canadian Airlines International, which merged into Air Canada in 2001. The last 767-200s were retired in 2008.

CANADA - DECEMBER 02: World traveller: E. T. studies the information kit for Air Canada's new Boeing 767, probably to see how far it can go on a tank of gas. While it has the ability to make trans-Atlantic flights, aviation rules won't let it, yet. However, for E.T., there are plenty of seats and lots of storage room. As for galactic travel, E. T. will have to wait - or go back home the way he came. (Photo by Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
E. T. studies the information kit for Air Canada’s new Boeing 767 in December 1982. The airline introduced the jet in February 1983. (Photo by Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Air Canada also flew its last scheduled passenger flight with an Embraer E190 on 31 May, according to Routes Online. The retirement of the E-Jets pre-dates the coronavirus, but was accelerated as a result of the crisis.

However, the carrier is adding some new jets. Air Canada will take delivery of all 14 Airbus A220-300 aircraft scheduled to arrive in later in 2020, executives said in May. The jets were first introduced in January and feature the airline’s latest onboard product, including inflight entertainment screens at every seat, USB-C charging ports and high-speed Wi-Fi.

“All in all, the Air Canada A220 is a joy to fly”, said TPG’s Zach Griff after flying on Air Canada’s inaugural A220 flight.

Related: First look onboard Air Canada’s first Airbus A220

 

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Featured image courtesy of Air Canada.

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