Air Canada Gets in the 2010 Spirit

For Olympic sponsor Air Canada, its 18th and latest Boeing 777 aircraft is a little different than past models. A handful of Olympians and Paralympians were on hand July 8 as Air Canada introduced “fin 742″, a jet decked out in Vancouver 2010 colours.

On the sides of the new aircraft are curving streaks of green, white and blue set amid a mountain backdrop, instantly recognizable to be thematic colours and images of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Also adorning the sides of the jet are sport illustrations of cross-country skiing, ice hockey, snowboard, alpine skiing, ice sledge hockey and ski jumping. It all combines for a specially designed pattern that runs nose to tail to recognize Air Canada’s role as Official Airline for 2010.

Among the athletes helping to unveil Air Canada’s new fleet member were two-time Olympians Maëlle Ricker (snowboard) and Mike Moffatt (luge), 2006 Olympic snowboarder Tom Vesilek as well as moguls freestyle skier Vincent Marquis.

The 53-metre-long graphic design will carry Canada’s Olympic spirit throughout the country’s major airports as well as to destinations in Europe and Asia including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong. In so doing, the bold image spreads the message of the coming Olympic Winter Games across the world. On this day, Air Canada also announced non-stop service on peak days during the Games from Vancouver to Frankfurt, Paris, Geneva and Zurich, in addition to its year round non-stop London service.

Air Canada is also busy re-launching its Elite Podium program in preparation for Vancouver 2010. All athletes, coaches and mission team staff involved with Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic teams are offered a recognition program through Air Canada Elite® status. Until the end of February 2010, this includes executive class and executive first service, priority check-in, priority boarding, Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge access and Air Canada Top Tier Upgrade Certificates.

“Spending most of the year in airports, it’s no secret that travelling affects athletes in their competition results,” said Montreal’s Dominique Vallée, 2006 Olympic snowboarder. “Air Canada is making travelling easier and more enjoyable to all Olympic hopefuls with the Elite Podium Program. Now I can have the comfort of the Elite check-in and lounge anywhere I go in the world so I can arrive ready and rested to perform my best.”