MIAMI – On June 2nd, 2020 Air Canada (AC) operated its last mainline Boeing 767 flight after operating the type for 38 years.
During that time, the Boeing 767 had been the backbone of AC’s fleet, operating the majority of medium to long haul routes within its network. The longest route AC operated with the 767 was Toronto to Tokyo, with a flight time of 13 hours and 45 minutes.
Air Canada received its first Boeing 767-200ER in 1982, operating the type until 2008. The larger Boeing 767-300ER joined its fleet in 1988 and had remained in service since then until yesterday’s final flight. At its peak, AC operated a fleet of 63 Boeing 767, 23 Boeing 767-200ER, and 40 Boeing 767-300ER.
Air Canada also operated the Boeing 767 with the most flying hours, until it was retired last year. Boeing 767-300ER C-FCAE flew over 138,000 hours with AC. After it was retired, it has since be bought by another airline and will be converted into a freighter.
The final Boeing 767 retirement was planned for 2019; however, the 737 MAX grounding extended its service for the foreseeable future. A year later, the COVID19 pandemic hit the world, crippling the aviation and travel industries.
Aircraft retirements across the board
Many airlines are making cuts in response to the pandemic to stay afloat and AC is not exempt from this. The pandemic has forced the carrier to accelerate the retirement of the 767, before the 737 MAXs return to service.
Air Canada is also retiring older Airbus A319 and A320 in response to COVID19.
25 of Air Canada’s mainline Boeing 767-300ER have been transferred to Air Canada Rouge (RV) and remain in service, but for how long is another question.
Air Canada has tabled these 767 for retirement as well. The days for the 767 are also severely numbered, as Westjet (WS) also plans to retire its small Boeing 767 fleet in the near future.
C-FTCA’s final run
The final flight AC439 was a short domestic hop from Montreal to Toronto and was operated by C-FTCA, a 31-year-old Boeing 767, which first flew in April 1989.
The aircraft was delivered to Canada Airlines International a few weeks later, eventually joining AC’s fleet in March 2001. This was when the two airlines merged at the turn of the century.
AC439 departed Montreal at 18:30L, touching down in Toronto an hour later, bringing 38 years of mainline Boeing 767 operations at AC to a close.