The largest airline in Canada, Air Canada operates a fleet of nearly 200 aircraft. Many of these are brand new, such as the Airbus A220 and Boeing 737 MAX. However, a large portion of the fleet might be around the same age or perhaps older than some of our readers! Today, let’s examine the oldest active aircraft flying with Air Canada.
Retired and un-retired
The oldest active aircraft in the fleet are two of the airline’s Boeing 767-300s. These are both just over 33 and a half years of age and are registered C-FPCA and C-FTCA. This pair have quite the interesting backstory and journey, as they started their ‘careers’ flying with now-defuct Air Canada-rival, Canadian Airlines in April 1989. When Air Canada took control of Canadian, it adopted much of the fleet, including the two 767s. This took place in 2001.
Up until the COVID-19 pandemic took place, nearly 20 years after joining Air Canada, the aircraft flew passenger operations. Of course, with the massive downturn in air travel amid border restrictions, the airline was force to park much of its fleet, including the 767s.
Both passenger aircraft were sent to storage with their futures somewhat uncertain. However, in the midst of the pandemic, Air Canada made the decision to get more serious in the cargo market and try its hand at operating dedicated freighters. At this point, C-FPCA and C-FTCA came in very useful, as the widebodies would be sent to IAI facilities in Tel Aviv (Israel) to be converted to freighters.
So with their conversions, the aircraft these days are filled with freight. Instead of shuttling passengers, they pick up and deliver cargo to destinations such as Toronto, Quito, Mexico City, Frankfurt, and more.
Of course, while the jets are technically the oldest flying for Air Canada, they are no longer the oldest active aircraft flying passengers. So let’s find out which of the airline’s old aircraft you might potentially find yourself onboard these days.
Air Canada’s oldest passenger aircraft
The oldest passenger aircraft flying for the airline are a pair of Airbus A320-200s registered C-GPWG and C-FPWE. Both aircraft first flew with Canadian Airlines in 1991 and are now nearly 32 years old. The pair of aircraft 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 the mainline fleet of Air Canada in 2012 and have been flying in this role ever since (except for a two-year period spent in long-term parking due to the pandemic).
These days, the aircraft are configured with 14 seats in business class and 132 in economy. It seems as though both jets have not had a cabin refresh in over a decade. Indeed, recent flight reviews from various YouTubers show fairly old cabins with extremely slow and unresponsive inflight entertainment systems. On the plus side, these old seats feature a built-in power outlet and USB port.
What do you think of Air Canada’s oldest aircraft? Is it time to refurbish or replace these old A320-200s? Let us know by leaving a comment!
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Calgary International Airport, Montréal–Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Vancouver International Airport
- Year Founded:
- Star Alliance
- Michael Rousseau