At Air Canada, safety is always our top priority. An instrumental part of ensuring the safety of our customers and our crew are our dedicated cabin crew, who undergo comprehensive training in everything from first aid to the proper operation of the doors and emergency exits in all of our aircraft.
And that now includes preparations for the arrival of our newest aircraft, which is scheduled to join our fleet in December: the Airbus A220-300.
While still months away from flying the Air Canada colours, the training of our 8,000 cabin crew on the A220 kicked off in July. Highlights of the instructor led sessions are the practical exercises where participants apply their knowledge of normal and emergency procedures using the A220 Door trainer and the Overwing Emergency Exit trainer. In the airline industry, a door is not just any door, nor is an emergency exit just any exit. They are sophisticated pieces of equipment—particular to each aircraft—that require detailed steps in a specific order to keep everyone safe and secure.
Training for the A220 focuses on normal and emergency mode procedures for the doors, as well as how to operate the overwing emergency exit, in addition to the onboard systems such as customer information and aircraft lights. This is done with the realistic simulators in Air Canada’s crew bases across the country, which allows crews to work through real-world scenarios.
“We do have a lot of strict operating procedures to follow (to ensure) the safety of our customers and also ourselves as crew members,” said Kerem, a Montréal-based flight attendant and one of the trainers for the A220. “This is why it is very important for us to know how to operate every door in our fleet — and now a new addition, the A220,” she concluded, adding that flight attendants are eagerly anticipating this new aircraft.
Before participating in the half-day practical training session for the A220, employees are introduced to the Airbus A220 aircraft through an innovative and engaging eLearning module that guides them through an online tour of both the internal and external components of this new aircraft. The participants are immersed in a virtual flight deck and cabin to learn the various operational systems as well as emergency procedures. Once the practical and online training are complete, the flight attendants then sit for an exam.
“Every flight attendant needs to do this process every year to stay qualified,” Kerem said.