Collision with terrain involving an Air Canada Airbus A320 at Stanfield International Airport, Halifax, Nova Scotia

The occurrence

C-FTJPOn 29 March 2015, at approximately 1240 a.m., Air Canada flight ACA 624, an Airbus A320, on a scheduled flight from Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Ontario, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, collided with terrain approximately 1100 feet from the threshold of Runway 05, eventually coming to rest about 1100 feet down the runway. There were 133 passengers and 5 crew members on board; all of whom exited the aircraft. Twenty-five people were taken to hospital for treatment of injuries.

What we know

The initial impact was significant and caused substantial damage to the aircraft. The main landing gear separated and the underside of the aircraft was heavily damaged (fuselage and wings). During this impact, the aircraft collided with a localizer antenna array – part of the instrument landing system – and became airborne again, travelling forward on Runway 05. There is an extensive debris field between the localizer antenna location and the threshold of the runway.

During the first day on site, Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigators documented the wreckage, the impact marks and the debris field. The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and the flight data recorder (FDR) were recovered from the aircraft and have been sent to the TSB Engineering Laboratory in Ottawa, Ontario.

Investigation team work

The investigation team is led by the Investigator-in-Charge, Doug McEwen. Mr. McEwen has been an investigator with the TSB for 18 years. He is assisted in this investigation by experts in flight operations, air traffic services, weather, aircraft structures, aircraft systems, aircraft engines, and human performance.

Some of these experts come from within the TSB, but assistance is also being provided by the following organizations: Transport Canada (TC), NAV CANADA, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Airbus, and France’s Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses. This is a normal part of any investigation, as these experts play a key role in helping the team uncover and understand all of the underlying factors which may have contributed to the accident.

Watchlist

Although more analysis is required, this accident displays some of the characteristics of an approach-and-landing accidents which is on TSB’s Watchlist.

Next steps

The investigation is ongoing and the next steps include the following:

  • survey the impact and wreckage site
  • continue examining and photographing the wreckage
  • removing the aircraft from the runway to restore normal operations
  • gather Air Traffic Control voice and data recordings
  • conduct witness interviews
  • gather meteorological information
  • collect operational information from the aircraft
  • preliminary review of the recorders at the TSB Lab to assist field investigators
  • determine which wreckage to collect for closer examination
    • further examination will be at the TSB Lab

Communication of safety deficiencies

Should the investigation team uncover safety deficiencies that present an immediate risk, they will be communicated without delay so they may be addressed quickly and the aviation system made safer.

The information posted is factual in nature and does not contain any analysis. Analysis of the accident and the Findings of the Board will be part of the final report. The investigation is ongoing.


The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
819-994-8053

Air Canada to Carry Canada’s Top Professional Hockey Teams

Air Canada Jetz signed to six-year contract with six of Canada’s major teams

AC_Jetz_03MONTREAL, March 17, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada proudly announced today that it is the airline of choice for Canada’s major professional hockey teams. Under six-year agreements with six of Canada’s best professional teams, the airline will provide air transportation through Air Canada Jetz, its in-house, all-Premium Class charter service operated by mainline Air Canada pilots and flight attendants.

“Every franchise needs a star performer to carry it to victory and Air Canada is proud to have been drafted for this role by six of Canada’s top pro teams. These agreements reflect the fact that the teams recognize not only Air Canada’s reliability but also the superior service offered by Jetz, with such amenities as all-Premium Class seating, dedicated mainline Air Canada crews offering specialized service, in-flight Wifi and the many other benefits enjoyed by Air Canada premium customers. Hockey is Canada’s game and asCanada’s flag carrier we are pleased to be carrying Canada’s best professional teams,” saidBenjamin Smith, President of Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.

The six-year agreements begin at the start of the 2015-16 season and cover the Montreal Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Winnipeg Jets, the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks. The service will be operated by Jetz, Air Canada’s in-house charter carrier, which uses Airbus A319 aircraft outfitted with 58-Premium Class seats to offer extra legroom and a private jet-like experience. In addition to the six Canadian teams, Jetz also provides air transport services to the Colorado Avalanche.

Air Canada Named Best Long Haul Airline in the Americas

Air Canada Boeing 777-333ER C-FITUMONTREAL, Jan. 15, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada has been named the Best Long Haul Airline (Americas) for 2014 by the respected airline safety and product reviewing website, AirlineRatings.com. The results are based on ratings of 450 airlines globally by hundreds of thousands of passengers.

“Air Canada is very pleased to be recognized as the Best Long Haul Airline in the Americas by AirlineRatings.com based on the feedback of global travelers. This award affirms the success of our strategy to transform Air Canada into an international powerhouse and that customers appreciate the significant investment we have made to provide industry-leading products and services both on-board our aircraft and in the airports from which we operate. We will soon take another major step forward with the delivery this spring of the first of 37 Boeing 787 Dreamliners into our fleet, featuring an enhanced version of our International Business Class lie-flat seats, a Premium Economy cabin, as well as other amenities such a state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system available free at every seat,” said Ben Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada.

“Essential to our international success is our membership in the Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, which allows us to offer convenient connections and other benefits to travelers to more than 1,300 airports in 195 countries worldwide. For this reason, we are also pleased AirlineRatings.com named our Star Alliance partners Air New Zealand the Airline of the Year, Singapore Airlines the Best Long Haul Airline (Asia/Pacific) and Swiss as Best Long Haul Airline (Europe).  We congratulate our fellow Star Alliance members and we will continue to work closely with them delivering standard-setting products and services.”

Air Canada has received a number of industry awards recognizing its industry-leading products and services, including being named the only Four Star network carrier in North America by the rating agency SkyTrax and also Best Airline in North America in the 2013 SkyTrax World Airline Awards. Other recent awards include:

  • “Best Airline in North America” – Global Traveler magazine, tenth annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards
  • “Best North American Airline for International Travel” and “Best North American Airline Inflight Experience” – Business Traveler magazine, 2013 Best in Business Travel Awards (the 25th annual edition of these awards)
  • Best North American Airline for International Travel” and “Best Flight Attendants in North America” – Premier Traveler magazine, Best of 2013 awards

Air Canada Selects Boeing 737 MAX to Renew Mainline Narrowbody Fleet

Agreement includes 61 firm orders plus 18 options and rights to purchase an additional 30

MONTREAL, Dec. 11, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today announced its mainline narrowbody fleet renewal plan that includes commitments, options and rights to purchase up to 109 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The new aircraft will replace Air Canada’s existing mainline fleet of Airbus narrowbody aircraft, creating one of the world’s youngest, most fuel efficient and simplified airline fleets.

The agreement with Boeing, which is subject to completion of final documentation and other conditions, includes firm orders for 33 737 MAX 8 and 28 737 MAX 9 aircraft with substitution rights between them as well as for the 737 MAX 7 aircraft. It also provides for options for 18 aircraft and rights to purchase an additional 30. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2017 with 2 aircraft, 16 aircraft in 2018, 18 aircraft in 2019, 16 aircraft in 2020 and 9 aircraft in 2021, subject to deferral and acceleration rights.

“We are pleased to announce our agreement with Boeing for the purchase of 737 MAX aircraft as part of the ongoing modernization of Air Canada’s fleet,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada. “Renewal of our North American narrowbody fleet with more fuel efficient aircraft is a key element of our ongoing cost transformation program and the enhanced passenger cabin comfort provided by the Boeing MAX will help us to retain Air Canada’s competitive position as the Best Airline in North America. Our narrowbody fleet renewal program is expected to yield significant cost savings. We have estimated that the projected fuel burn and maintenance cost savings on a per seat basis of greater than 20 per cent will generate an estimated CASM reduction of approximately 10 per cent as compared to our existing narrowbody fleet.”

Air Canada continues to evaluate the potential replacement of its Embraer E190 fleet with more cost efficient, larger narrowbody aircraft that are better suited to its current and future network strategy. Consistent with this strategy, the agreement with Boeing provides for Boeing to purchase up to 20 of the 45 Embraer E190 aircraft currently in Air Canada’s fleet. The E190 aircraft exiting the fleet will be initially replaced with larger narrowbody leased aircraft until the airline takes delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The company will be reviewing various options over the next six months for the remaining 25 Embraer E190 aircraft including continuing to operate them or replacing them with a yet to be determined number of aircraft in the 100 to 150 seat range.

Air Canada’s plan is for its total fleet including Air Canada rouge™, excluding aircraft flown by its contracted regional carriers, to grow from 192 aircraft as at September 30, 2013 to approximately 214 by the end of 2019, on a pro forma basis. Additionally, for further growth flexibility, Air Canada has 13 options and rights to purchase 10 Boeing 787 aircraft, rights to purchase 13 Boeing 777 aircraft as well as the 18 options and 30 purchase rights for Boeing MAX aircraft.

Air Canada Cargo and Cargojet Begin Discussions Towards Commercial Cooperation

CargoJet Boeing 727-260 C-GUJC arriving from Jose Marti Int'l MUHA on final approach for runway 6R at CYYZMONTREAL and MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 20, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada and Cargojet today announced they have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to explore strategic opportunities in both cargo and airline operations within Canada and in international markets.

The carriers intend to pursue strategic opportunities and increase cooperation in various areas such as global sales and marketing, expanded interline opportunities and enhanced connectivity that would increase revenues and reduce operating costs. Both airlines would work towards providing optimized services to the shipping community on their respective networks.

“We are looking forward to working with Air Canada towards improving the depth and reach of both companies’ air cargo services, both domestically and internationally, among other strategic opportunities,” said Ajay K. Virmani, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cargojet.

“We are very pleased to be in discussions with Cargojet to explore opportunities for revenue growth and synergies that will be mutually beneficial for both our companies and customers,” said Lise-Marie Turpin, Air Canada Cargo Vice President.  “Developing further our relationship with Cargojet is an exciting opportunity.”

The implementation of new strategic initiatives would be subject to Air Canada and Cargojet making any necessary filings, obtaining regulatory approvals and finalizing documentation.

Air Canada Cargo provides direct cargo service world wide offering the shipping community business solutions that meet their needs efficiently and cost effectively.  For more information, visit www.aircanadacargo.com.  Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving more than 175 destinations on five continents. Canada’s flag carrier is among the world’s 10 largest commercial airlines and in 2012 served close to 35 million passengers.  Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 60 Canadian cities, 49 destinations in the United States and 67 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. For more information, please visit: www.aircanada.com.

Cargojet is Canada’s leading provider of time sensitive overnight air cargo services that constitutes over 50 per cent of domestic overnight air cargo capacity. Cargojet operates its network across North America each business night, utilizing a fleet of thirteen all-cargo aircraft. For more information, please visit: www.cargojet.com.