Air Canada Announces Possible Sales

MONTREAL, Feb. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada announced today initiatives to
further develop several of its operating units as stand alone businesses with
the objective of driving new revenue opportunities and attracting investment
from financial and strategic partners. Air Canada intends to sell up to a
49 per cent interest in Air Canada Technical Services (ACTS) as well as a
significant stake in Airport Ground Handling Services, a stand alone
subsidiary to be created from the airline`s current airport ground handling
operations. Air Canada is also considering the sale of Air Canada Jazz, its
wholly owned regional carrier and will convert Air Canada Cargo to a stand
alone subsidiary, although no sale process for the cargo unit is being
undertaken at this time.

“There are tremendous opportunities for profitable growth in certain Air
Canada operations which, while related to our traditional airline business,
can best grow into global industry leaders as stand alone units,” said Calin
Rovinescu, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy. “As
with our recently announced new partnership in Aeroplan, we have high
expectations for the growth and success of these businesses operated under
separate management with an improved focus on operational, financial and
capital requirements. This, in turn, will enable a cost structure competitive
within each specific sector on a global basis.”

Effective immediately, Air Canada is commencing a formal sale process to
sell up to a 49 per cent interest in ACTS and has engaged financial advisors
to coordinate the sale process. Air Canada`s maintenance division provides
maintenance, engineering, repair, material and supply chain management to
support Air Canada`s mainline fleet of more than 220 aircraft, as well as
other airline customers, in five maintenance categories: airframes, engines,
components, line and aircraft cabins. The ACTS division of Air Canada employs
approximately 8,000 staff with six major Canadian maintenance base centers
located in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver.

Air Canada also intends to sell a significant stake in its Airport Ground
Handling Services business once it is constituted as a stand alone entity and
has commenced preliminary discussions with several strategic partners in this
regard. Air Canada`s ground handling operations provide customer check-in,
ticketing, baggage handling, ground equipment service and aircraft ramp
handling. Air Canada employs approximately 8,500 staff in Canada, the U.S.,
Europe and Asia to handle ground handling responsibilities.

Air Canada Cargo provides a full range of airport to airport cargo
products and services across the Air Canada network. Main hubs include
Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, London and Frankfurt. The Air Canada
Cargo division of the company employs approximately 1,700 people in its
worldwide operations.


Additionally, Air Canada is reviewing alternatives with respect to Air
Canada Jazz, its wholly owned subsidiary serving regional markets, including
the possibility of a sale of up to 100 per cent of the carrier. Air Canada
Jazz provides scheduled service to over 75 destinations in Canada and the U.S.
with a fleet of British Aerospace 146, Dash 8-300/100 and Bombardier CRJ
aircraft and employs approximately 4000 full time employees.