2008 NetLetter #1040 - November 2, 2008

#1040 - November 2, 2008
Vesta's Corner
Vesta StevensonWhy not allow the NetLetter to be your platform and opportunity to relive your history while working for either TCA, AC, CPAir, CAIL, PWA, AirBC etal?

Share your experiences with us!

MIDWAY AIRPORT PRIVATIZED, CANADIAN COMPANY TAKES OVER: Midway Airport in Chicago will become the first major airport in the U.S. to be privatized and it will be run by a Canadian company. Vancouver Airport Services, which runs Vancouver International Airport and 17 other airports in British Columbia, the Caribbean, South America and Europe, was the successful bidder for a $2.5 billion deal that will include a lease on Midway for 99 years

Air Canada - our first 70 years

  • June 20th - Service inaugurated between Vancouver, Calgary and Zurich.
  • June 2ndNWT - NWT Air launches service between Vancouver and Whitehorse.

  • July 2nd - The Air Canada network was expanded by a partnership between AirBC and Central Mountain Air. CMA operates Beech 1900C equipment.
  • July 1st - 50th anniversary of service to Chicago. In 1946 Trans-Canada Air Lines was the first foreign flag carrier to serve the city. Using DC-3 equipment from YYZ.
  • Oct 27th - Air Canada and Lufthansa inaugurated code sharing between Vancouver, Calgary and Frankfurt
  • Dec 16th - NWT Air launches non stop service between Vancouver and Yellowknife
1997 - June 15th - Air Canada and Lufthansa inaugurated code sharing between Montreal and Frankfurt
Air Canada News
Air Canada Family Affair program will now run until December 31, 2009.

The Family Affair program has been extended until December 31, 2009 (last travel completion date).  Details on Family Affair are available on the Portal > Employee Travel Site > News & Policies.

Changes to the current ZED agreement between Air Canada and United Airlines.

Effective November 1, 2008, our ZED and ID50% agreement will now include all United Express Airlines-operated flights under our current United Airlines agreement.  Please refer to the Employee Travel Website for more details

New ZED agreement signed with Corsair (SS).
Employee Travel has successfully negotiated a ZED agreement with Corsair. This ZED agreement is effective November 1, 2008, which means that you will be able to process your ZM paper tickets for yourself, spouse, dependent children under 24 and ZH for your parents directly on the Employee Travel Website as of that date..

Air Canada to launch direct Halifax-Orlando seasonal service.
Beginning February 6, 2009, Air Canada will launch bi-weekly non-stop seasonal service between Halifax and Orlando. This seasonal service will be offered until May 10, 2009. Air Canada's Halifax winter schedule now includes flights to Bermuda; Cancun and Cozumel,  Mexico; Cayo Coco, Holguin and Varadero, Cuba; Puerto Plata and Punta Canada, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica.
TCA/AC People Gallery

Over the past months we have been publishing various photographs from earlier "Horizons", should any photos prompt a memory in seeing one of them, feel free to send us your comments and thoughts.

Alan MacLeod sends us this  -
CF-TCCI flew CF-TCC about 30 hours this year, that was all. It never went west of Winnipeg. Air Canada seems a bit reluctant to use it now as they did a few years ago.

It was asked to go to the Quebec airshow commemorating the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec. That plus a one day shoot with the CBC for a documentary they are making for 2009, the 100th anniversary of flight here in Canada, was all it did in 2008.

I hope Air Canada will see fit to bring it out for the celebrations next year for the 100th anniversary.Any lobbying you might do on the NetLetter would help, I think.

Regards from Montreal
Alan MacLeod

Musings from "Horizons" - Issue dated July 1996

In July 1996, Industry Travel announced a new program called CHIP (Card holder information profile), a corporate data base or employees and retirees containing personal travel information for when passes etc are used. A group of Pionairs helped with the massive task of vetting the information and input of the data. Here in a photo of the group.

Chip ProgramLeft to right: Patrick Cavanagh, Joan Muir, Fraser Muir, Evelyn Cryans and Margot Lesperance.

Bob CarsonBob Carson Director Materials Management retired after 35 years service seen here with his wife Esther during his retirement party with more than 150 Air Canada friends and colleagues.

Bill JohnsonBill Johnston
of Los Angeles celebrates his 30th service anniversary with colleagues.

Here we have another story from Gordon (Gordie) Aitchison of Prestwick days -

After World War II, Europe had been ravaged and as always, after a war there were loads and loads of refugees. Refugees is what we call them today but in 1948, they were known as Displaced Persons and there were Displaced Persons camps all over the liberated Continent, accommodating thousands and thousands of people who either could not or would not go back to their home country.  

Some of these people were very highly educated or qualified and certain countries felt that some of them could be an asset to them in one way or another The best-known case is that of Werner Von Braun who had played the lead in putting Germany's rockets into the air during the war against the U.K.and subsequently helped the USA to acquire and maintain the lead in the space race against the USSR after the war.

Canada was no exception in selecting some of these DPs and the Canadian Government chartered a small number of TCA flights in early 1948 to fly them from Europe to Canada.

The flights ferried empty from Prestwick during the forenoon and flew to Munich where the passengers were embarked and the flight then returned to Prestwick on the first leg of the DPs' journey to the New World. At Prestwick, they were disembarked for several hours, during which time they were given a good meal in the hotel dining room and the chance to have a bath in the hotel, this latter a particular luxury to them. These passengers came off the aircraft looking more like tramps than anything else.

The aircraft also carried a quite sizeable dossier on each passenger
and a quick browse through these showed how highly qualified these "tramps" were, professors and graduates of this and that, totally in conflict with the present appearance of these very unfortunate people.

(More of this story next time - eds)
Bytes and Pieces

Alan RustIt is amazing how many different types of aircraft have been designed for various purposes over the years. This includes fighter aircraft, water bombers, stunt aircraft, transport, etc.

Below we have a collection of the most unusual aircraft ever made. I hope you enjoy them!

Unusual Aircraft Just click on the image to view the slideshow or click on this link.

Hint: click on "Full" in the bottom right corner of the slideshow to show it full size.

Canadi>n/CPAir/PWA, Wardair, etc. Events & People
For some time now, we have been publishing information gleaned from copies of "canadianflyer".
Canadian Flyer StaffThis is a photo of the staff published in the final edition dated November/December 2000..

We are indebted to Vern Swerdleger who kindly donated copies of the first issue in April 1997 through to the December 2000 issue.

The inaugural flight Vancouver to Tokyo was December 16th., 1973.
The last flight Tokyo -Vancouver was October 24th., 1986.

  • Jun 22 - Non stop service inaugurated between St.John's and Toronto.
    Mike LuchWe have this photo of Capt. Mike Luch presenting Expo 86 day passes to YVR bound pax Keith Bradbury and son and the first pax.

  • Jul 31 - Nordair acquired by CPAL when Province of Quebec Nordairgovernment sold Quebecair's 35% interest with operations fully integrated Jan 24, 1987.

  • Oct 18 - Inaugural flight of the first B-737 in Nordair's fleet to be painted in CPAL's colours. The flight was to Frobisher Bay.

David Welham has sent us several couple of "Esprit" in house magazines which succeeded the short lived CPAir News.

The first issue was dated August 1986 -
Pionairs The Pionairs held their 8th annual luncheon reunion in May 1986 in YVR,  and we have selected this photo. Note: CAIL used the name
"Pionairs" as did Air Canada retirees.

Musings from the September issue -
YUL ResMontreal participants in the Reservations project.

July 3 - Wardair purchased three Airbus A300 for domestic services.

From the December 1986 issue
Employees with 25 years service celebrated at the Hotel Vancouver on October 17th 1986.
EPA PartyHere is a photo of the Former Eastern Provincial Airways celebrants.

First and LastA photo taken in 1974 of the first B-747 and the last DC-3  

1986 Nov 7th - CPAL's flagship B-747 "Empress of Canada" fin # 743 was sold to Pakistan Airlines the final aircraft of four B-747's for four DC-10-30's.

747 TransferWe have this photo of the transfer team.

Readers Feedback
Member FeedbackStew Freeman, having checked the information regarding the Lockheed L188 Electra which Andrew Geider published in "canadianflyer" magazine. sends this observation - In regard to your article on the Lockheed Electra, Netletter #1039, used by Nordair on the ice reconnaissance program, it actually had a crew of four.

The fourth member was a Flight Navigator.

Stew Freeman, Flight Navigator

Brian Mahoney sends us this information re NetLetter nr 1038 - Regarding your article re Nordair leasing some Convair 990's.That is an a/c you hardly ever hear about these days. I had the privilege of flying on a Convair 880 around 1962. This a/c was operated by Northeast Airlines from Mia-Bos-Yul. At the time it was the fastest commercial jet in service.The 990 was a bit larger and as I recall, American Airlines flew them. I would guess that they would still be as fast as any commercial jet today...Concorde excepted.

Brian Mahoney, Retired, Yow

Wayne Sands also picked up on the quoted statement from "Horizons" in a previous NetLetter which gave the wrong impression - Issue dated August 1995 - When Air Canada's flight 884 touched down at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport on June 21st, it became the only Canadian carrier to land in Israel.

I always thought that C.P.Air/ Canadian Pacific were a Canadian carrier. I did many trips in the 70's to Ben Gurion airport with C.P.Airs DC8's.

In fact our crew and aircraft were stuck there for 10 days due to a Canadian firemans/ ATC strike. I am not sure who it was!
We did many turn arounds out of Rome to Tel Aviv, and many layovers out of Amsterdam. Cheers Wayne Sands

Bill Marr writes -
Some time ago an article was published in Netletter News concerning the loss of the Bermuda Sky Queen in mid Atlantic. A bit of Aviation history. Your articles, I think there were two, do not go into any depth. It is a great story. George Lothian gives it several pages in his book "Flight Deck" which many of us have.

I knew Steve Albulet and wrote up a short biography which included an account of this rescue some years ago.

Steve Albulet joined Trans-Canada Air Lines in 1939, the year of the first transcontinental flight. He was quickly promoted to Captain flying the routes between Montreal and Lethbridge and in 1943, was for a short time an instructor on the Lockheed 14.08 in Winnipeg.
In 1944 Captain Steven Albulet was transferred to Montreal onto the wartime Atlantic service where he operated until his retirement from Air Canada in June of 1969.

The pilots on this early wartime service pioneered the introduction of ocean flying with Lancastrian aircraft.

Their task was to prove that aircraft could make the crossing with an acceptable load of priority passengers, mail and cargo, and at the same time maintain a reasonable schedule.

In 1947 one of the most dramatic events of his career occurred over the Atlantic.

Steve was Captain of a transatlantic North Star aircraft undergoing a check flight with Captain George Lothian, at that time chief pilot Atlantic, in the right seat, Ken Fraser, navigator and Ken Taman as radio operator. As his flight was approaching mid Atlantic, his radio operator began receiving a continuous SOS signal. This message originated from a large four-engine flying-boat, a Boeing 314 Clipper named the "Bermuda Sky Queen", that had 69 people on board and was lost, short on fuel and unable to reach either coast.

There was a weather ship in the area, however it was unaware of the lost aircraft, could not see it on radar or hear its distress calls because of its lower altitude.  Steve contacted both the flying-boat and the weather ship, and asked the ship's radar go to maximum power to search an expanded area. A small spot was seen on the edge of the ships radar screen. He had the clipper turn eastbound toward the ship.

Steves aircraft relayed all radio frequencies and communications and ensured that directions were understood.
(We will continue this story next time - eds)

This & That
Emirates go paperless - As part of the cost and weight cutting measure, the new A380 recently delivered to Emirates Airline will be paperless. The carrier has removed all seat-pocket paper including in-flight magazines, entertainment guides and shopping catalogues.
EmiratesThis will be available by digital content displayed on the seat-back TV.
(Nothing was mentioned about the sick bags - eds) .

According to the airline this will remove a tonne from the aircraft's all up weight.
(Probably due to having an extra 500 kgs of water for the showers on board - eds)
Terry's Travel Tips

Terry BakerHere's some deals for our UK'ers -
Whether you're looking for the thrill of a white knuckle ride or just to be photographed with the stars, we have a great day's entertainment just for you London Dungeons, London  The London Dungeon welcomes the curious, the fearless and the foolish this Halloween from 18th October - 2nd November Children / Adults  gbp11.00/gbp14.00

Chessington World of Adventures, Chessington  Experience some mischievous mayhem at Chessington World of Adventures & Zoo as Halloween Hocus Pocus returns from 18 October to 2 November 2008. The whole family will enjoy magical entertainment and spooky shows as wicked witches and naughty Goblins take over the Park.

There's so much fun to be had its scary!
Children / Adults gbp13.50/gbp19.99
Child aged 2 years or under goes FREE
LEGOLAND  Windsor is celebrating the end of its 2008 season with six nights of spectacular fireworks. From 25 - 26 & 31 October and 1 - 2 & 8 November, families can enjoy one of the most impressive firework displays in the country. This year's theme will be LEGO "Star Wars" so fans of the hugely popular toy range can enjoy a whole host of fantastic activities, celebrating events that happened a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
Children & Adults gbp17.50

THORPE PARK - Fright Nights & Thorpe Blast, Surrey  Fright Nights - For a Halloween with a frightening twist, get down to THORPE PARK between 13th October - 2nd November to experience a whole new dimension of adrenaline-fuelled fun. With spine-tingling entertainment, live interactive horror mazes, and a brand new attraction so terrifying that it's only fit for the brave, revellers will be able to enjoy a thrill long into the darkness of the night!

Thorpe Blast - Thorpe Blast is back with a bang in 2008 at THORPE PARK from 7th - 9th November. A whole new experience, as the Park stays open till late with a fantastic fireworks display set over water to a backdrop of thrilling rides and contemporary vibes. THORPE PARK is the only place to experience exhilarating fireworks whilst screaming on all your favourite rides in the dark, including the Park's unholy trinity of rollercoasters: Stealth; Colossus; and Nemesis Inferno! Children / Adults gbp15.00/gbp19.99

Please call our attractions hotline on 0208 607 3801

2008 Cruise Critic Editors Picks Awards Winners - If you want nothing but the best on your next cruise, check out our list of the 2008 best cruise lines.

Cruisings Best
Best Family Cruise Ships
- Royal Caribbean International - Best Luxury Cruise Ships 
- Crystal Cruises Best Dining - Oceania
- Cruises Best for Romance - Princess Cruises
- Best Spa and Fitness - Royal Caribbean International
- Best Cabins - Holland America Line
- Best Value for Money - Carnival Cruise Lines
- Best Itineraries - Azamara Cruises
- Best Entertainment - Norwegian Cruise Line
- Best Shore Excursions - Carnival Cruise Lines

New Deals to Mexico from Interline Travel and include:

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CAIL MailboxWe have this photo from the January 1987 edition of "Esprit" CPA in house magazine.

ConsContingent standby travel
is getting harder and harder, but still achievable