Air Canada Innovations

  • Oxygen Systems (1939-1946)
    Air Canada was one of the first airlines to have its entire fleet of unpressurized aircraft equipped with fixed oxygen systems for use by flight crew and passengers, using the rebreathing bag principle.

  • De-icing (1938-9)
    Air Canada was the first airline to equip its fleet, beginning with the Lockheed 1408 and 1808 aircraft, with alcohol de-icing nozzles ahead of the windscreen to obtain de-icing coverage of the complete windscreen.

  • Maintenance specification world standard (1956)
    Air Canada developed standards for technical specifications for the preparation of technical instructions which on June 1,1956 became an internationally recognized maintenance specification standard, adopted in principle by the Air Transport Association of America.

  • Black Box (1965)
    In the early 60’s Air Canada was involved in the development of the multi-channel flight recorder. In 1965, Royston Instruments, an English electronics company, with the assistance of Air Canada engineers, produced the multi-channel flight recorder – also known as the black box – that was installed on Air Canada’s DC-8 and Vanguard aircraft.

  • Jet Engine (April 1, 1960)
    Air Canada was the first airline to recognize the validity of efficiency claims for the by-pass engine, commonly known as a jet engine, and the first airline to use the jet engine in civil operation with the introduction of DC-8 service on the transcontinental Montreal-Vancouver route.

  • Electric De-icing (1961)
    Air Canada introduced in Canada electric de-icing of aerodynamic surfaces with the introduction of Vickers Vanguard aircraft in 1961.

  • Reservations Automation (January 24, 1963)
    Canada introduced the world’s first computerized reservations system. The system, designed and manufactured in Canada by Ferranti Canada, fostered tremendous growth in computerized and communications airlines processes. Implementation of ReserVec was completed on January 24, 1963.

  • Jet Freighter (October 1963)
    With the introduction of the DC-8F Jet Trader, Air Canada became the first airline in the world to operate a jet freighter (all-cargo aircraft).

  • All-turbine Fleet (April 12, 1963)
    Air Canada became the first major airline with an all turbine fleet when it retired its last propeller-driven DC'3s. The all-turbine fleet brought about an increase in productivity and reduction in maintenance costs.

  • Airbus A320 (January 25, 1990)
    Air Canada was the first airline in Canada to operate the Airbus A320. The airline took delivery of its first Airbus A320 on January 25, 1990 in Toulouse (France).

  • Non-smoking airline (October 1990)
    Air Canada became the first scheduled airline in the world to offer exclusively smoke-free flights between North America and Europe. Prior to this date, in September 1988, Air Canada became the first Canadian airline to ban smoking on all of its charter and scheduled flights within North America and the Caribbean.
  •  Telephones at arm's reach (September 8, 1992)
    Air Canada became the first airline in the world to offer all its customers telephones at arm's reach on all of its aircraft.

  • Electronic Ticket (December 7, 1995)
    The Electronic ticket made its debut in Canada when Air Canada began testing the service on selected Canadian routes. It was phased in across Canada and on transborder routes during 1996.

  • Airbus A319 (December 1996)
    Air Canada was the first North American carrier to operate the Airbus A319, the first of which was introduced on the Toronto-Boston route.

  • GO AC WEBSAVER (February 12, 1997)
    Air Canada became the first airline in Canada to email electronic specials and discounts with the introduction of GO AC WEBSAVER.

  • Express Check-in (August 30, 1999)
    Air Canada became the first airline to introduce self-service Express Check-in Kiosks in Canada.

  • Interline Electronic Ticket (June 14, 2000)
    Air Canada and United Airlines introduced the world's first interline electronic ticket.

  • Simplified Fare Structure (May 2003)
    Air Canada became the first North American legacy carrier to simplify its fare structure for bookings made online across its entire domestic network.

  • Multi-trip Flight Passes (April 2004)
    Air Canada's self-managed online multi-trip Flight Passes are an industry first, leading to the creation of fixed monthly payment subscription passes for unlimited travel.

  • Personal Seatback Entertainment Systems (June 2005)
    Air Canada was the first carrier to introduce personal seatback entertainment systems in smaller jet aircraft for short-haul flights.

  • Lie-flat Beds (November 10, 2005)
    Air Canada became the first North American carrier to introduce lie-flat beds in all business class cabins across its refurbished international fleet

  • 2D Barcode Technology (2006)
    Air Canada led the development of airline industry standarts for the use of 2D barcodes by airlines.

  • 2D Barcode Scanning (September 22, 2006)
    Air Canada was the first airline in North America to implement 2D barcode scanning, with the introduction of 2D barcodes on boarding passes and itinerary receipts.

  • Electronic Boarding Pass (September 21, 2007)
    Air Canada was the first airline in North America to introduce electronic boarding passes for mobile check-in, for customers using a cellular phone or smart phone

  • Mobile Flight Notifications (August 4, 2009)
    Air Canada became the first North American airline to introduce Flight Notification service for delayed or cancelled flights, or gate change details to be sent directly to text-messaging-enabled phones or to an email address.

  • Air Canada Apps (August 20, 2009)

    Air Canada was the first North American airline to release mobile applications for Apple and Blackberry devices in August and October 2009, respectively. The free App allows travellers to retrieve electronic boarding passes, track flight information in real-time, receive notification of itinerary changes and more.

  • Cargo Mobile (November 2, 2010)
    With the introduction of the Air Canada Cargo mobile app, Air Canada became the first cargo carrier to offer a mobile tracking solution.

  • ACV Mobile (April 20, 2011)
    Air Canada Vacations was the first Canadian tour operator to offer customers a free mobile application for Apple and Blackberry users.

  • Mobile Booking (September 12, 2011)
    Air Canada was the first airline in Canada to introduce mobile booking through our Apple App.

 

Revised: March 2012