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Air Canada Celebrates 50 Years of Service

Fifty years ago, Air Canada, then known
as Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA), inaugurated weekly air service between Canada
and Montego Bay, Jamaica, when its 40-passenger propeller aircraft, a  
Montreal-built Canadair DC-4M “North Star” landed at Montego Bay Airport on
the morning of December 17, 1953.
Flight time out of Toronto was 11 hours with a stop in Nassau, Bahamas.
Today, Air Canada offers year-round daily non-stop service between Toronto and
Montego Bay with 198-seat Boeing 767 aircraft and an elapsed flying time of
only four hours. Air Canada also offers seasonal non-stop weekly service to
Montego Bay from Halifax, Montréal, Winnipeg, and Calgary. In addition, the
carrier operates year-round non-stop service to Kingston from Toronto five
times weekly with 198-seat Boeing 767 aircraft. Overall, Air Canada will
operate up to 16 weekly flights to Montego Bay and Kingston this winter
“For more than 50 years, Air Canada`s services to Montego Bay and
Kingston have served as a catalyst for tourism and trade between Canada and
Jamaica and as a visible symbol of the strong ties between our two nations,”
said Robert Milton, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Today, Air Canada
is very proud of our long standing presence in Jamaica and commitment to offer
travellers and freight forwarders unparalleled access to the Caribbean at
The carrier inaugurated service to Jamaica on December 1, 1948 with the
introduction of weekly flights to Kingston. During the first year of this
operation, TCA carried 977 passengers. In 2002, Air Canada carried
162,000 passengers between Canada and Jamaica as well as 2.8 million kilos of
Over the past 50 years, the number of Caribbean destinations served by
Air Canada has grown to 22, in addition to Bermuda. This winter, the carrier
will operate more than 200 scheduled flights per week representing 37 per cent
more seats than last winter to: Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Grenada, Grand
Cayman, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Kingston, Montego Bay, Nassau, San Juan, St-Lucia,
Trinidad, Turks & Caicos, Havana, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Holguin, Varadero,
Puerto Plata, Punta Cana and La Romana.
Montréal-based Air Canada provides scheduled and charter air
transportation for passengers and cargo to more than 150 destinations on five
continents. Canada`s flag carrier is the 11th largest commercial airline in
the world and serves more than 30 million customers annually with a fleet
consisting of more than 300 aircraft. Air Canada has been ranked as the
world`s safest airline and in a 2002 survey of the world`s most frequent air
travellers by travel information publisher OAG, Air Canada was voted best
airline in North America for the second time in three years, and Air Canada`s
frequent flyer program, Aeroplan, was voted best in the world. Air Canada is a
founding member of Star Alliance providing the world`s most comprehensive air
transportation network.