The largest airline in Canada, Air Canada operates a fleet of nearly 200 aircraft. Many of them are new, such as the Airbus A220 and the Boeing 737 MAX. However, a large portion of the fleet might be around the same age or possibly older than some of our readers! Today, let’s take a look at the oldest active aircraft flying with Air Canada.
Retired and not retired
The oldest active aircraft in the fleet are two of the airline’s Boeing 767-300s. They are both a little over 33 and a half years old and are registered C-FPCA and C-FTCA. This pair have quite an interesting history and background, as they began their “career” flying with Canadian Airlines, now rival Air Canada, in April 1989. When Air Canada took over Canadian, it adopted a large part of the fleet, including the two 767s. This happened in 2001.
Until the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 20 years after joining Air Canada, the aircraft was performing passenger operations. Of course, with the massive drop in air travel amid border restrictions, the airline has been forced to park much of its fleet, including the 767s.
Both passenger planes were sent to storage with their future somewhat uncertain. However, in the midst of the pandemic, Air Canada made the decision to get more serious about the cargo market and try its hand at operating dedicated freighters. At this point, the C-FPCA and C-FTCA proved to be very useful, as the jumbo jets would be sent to IAI’s facilities in Tel Aviv (Israel) to be converted into freighters.
So, with their conversions, airplanes these days are filled with cargo. Instead of shuttling passengers, they pick up and deliver goods to destinations such as Toronto, Quito, Mexico City, Frankfurt, etc.
Of course, while the jets are technically the oldest to fly for Air Canada, they are no longer the oldest active planes carrying passengers. So let’s take a look at which former airline plane you could potentially find yourself on board these days.
Air Canada’s oldest passenger plane
The oldest passenger aircraft flying for the airline are a pair of Airbus A320-200s registered C-GPWG and C-FPWE. Both planes first flew with Canadian Airlines in 1991 and are now nearly 32 years old. The pair of planes have parallel histories and both transitioned to the Air Canada fleet in 2001. They also both flew for Air Canada’s budget subsidiary, Air Canada Tango, while also serving in the airline group’s VIP charter service, Air Canada Jetz.
The A320s were eventually reassigned to Air Canada’s mainline fleet in 2012 and have been flying in that role ever since (except for a two-year period spent in long-term parking due to the pandemic).
These days, planes are configured with 14 seats in business class and 132 in economy class. It appears both jets haven’t had a cabin refresh in over a decade. Indeed, recent flight reviews from various YouTubers show quite old cabins with extremely slow and unresponsive in-flight entertainment systems. On the plus side, these older seats have a built-in power outlet and USB port.
What do you think of Air Canada’s oldest plane? Is it time to refurbish or replace those older A320-200s? Let us know by leaving a comment!
Sources: Planespotters.net, FlightRadar24.com
- IATA/ICAO code:
- Airline type:
- Full service carrier
- Calgary International Airport, Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Vancouver International Airport
- Year of foundation:
- star alliance
- Michael Rousseau