Aerospace Partnership to Market New Composite Maintenance Technology; Province of Manitoba Supports

Air Canada and Manitoba-based Acsion Industries
today announced a strategic aerospace partnership that will create 270 jobs
and strengthen the province`s growing aerospace industry.
Air Canada and Acsion have formed a new joint venture company, ACETEK
Composites, which will repair and manufacture aircraft composite parts using a
variety of innovative technologies. Aircraft maintenance customers will see
significantly reduced costs and turnaround times on aircraft maintenance
composite repairs, in some cases by as much as 60 per cent.

“This major joint venture reflects Air Canada`s commitment to western
Canada and our relentless drive to develop new innovations that will add
shareholder value across the organization,” said Robin Wohnsigl, Chairman of
the Board for ACETEK, and President of Air Canada Technical Services. “Our new
company promises to vastly reduce fleet maintenance costs, provide faster
aircraft maintenance turnaround times, and create exciting opportunities and
challenges for the aerospace sector in Manitoba.”

“We are excited to partner with Air Canada in expediting the composites
repair process and capitalizing on this growth area of the aerospace
business,” said Chris Saunders, ACETEK Composite Ltd.`s interim president and
Acsion CEO. “The world`s aircraft manufacturers are turning increasingly to
composite materials, and we are well positioned to capitalize on the urgent
need for fast and efficient composite repairs.”

Manitoba Premier Gary Doer said the provincial government has committed
$3.9 million in repayable loans for start-up and capital costs and will also
provide significant support for employee training.

“Our government and Air Canada have enjoyed a long, mutually beneficial
business relationship, and we are pleased to have another major venture that
will support the growth of Manitoba`s aerospace industry,” Doer said. “The
creation of ACETEK Composites will create 270 jobs for Manitobans and will
also place Manitoba on the leading edge of aerospace innovation and industry


For the first several months, ACETEK will operate out of Acsion`s Pinawa
facility and temporary facilities in Winnipeg. Permanent headquarters will
ultimately be established in Winnipeg.

Today`s newer aircraft are increasingly manufactured using lightweight
polymer composites rather than metal. Approximately 40 per cent of aircraft
operating in North America are these New Generation (NG) aircraft.

While the changes have created lighter and more fuel efficient aircraft,
repairs have become more complex and costly. ACETEK will bring new and
advanced composite repair capabilities to the airline industry that will
greatly accelerate the maintenance process and reduce the amount of time
aircraft are out of service.
Air Canada is Canada`s flagship carrier and is recognized as a world
leader in the global air transportation industry by pursuing a strategy based
on value-added customer service, technical excellence and passenger safety. In
November 2000, Air Canada announced the formation of Air Canada Technical
Services to capitalize on the airline`s ability to compete on a global basis
as a maintenance, repair and overhaul profit centre.

Acsion Industries is a Manitoba-based high technology company created in
1998 to explore and develop state-of-the-art technology in the aerospace