C&SS YUL ZOOM over the years.

Over the years, a group of 37 retired Computer and Systems Services employees (C&SS) from Dorval have exchanged e-mail Christmas greetings with each other, and Christmas 2020 was no exception. In early 2021, two of the group, Aron Charad and (our own) Terry Baker exchanged their greetings by a ZOOM session, during which they decided to try and arrange a session with the retired C&SS group.

The date and time, bearing in mind the different time zones, was arranged and the format would be to invite each participant to give a 2-3 minute update on what they had been up to since retirement and reminisce on happenings during their work days, and an email was sent out with the invites.

The ZOOM session took place on Wednesday February 10, 2021 with Aron Charad as the moderator and alphabetically, Aron called upon each one to speak up.

The session was very well conducted and enjoyed by all participants. From some of the tales related of happenings during their work days, it is a wonder that Air Canada survived.

All agreed it was a successful session and they look forward to another session in the future.

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Historic Dates x350
  • 1954 - May 14 - Super Constellation service out of Toronto to Prestwick was launched.
  • 1972  - April 30 - Rapidair introduced between Toronto – Montreal.
  • 1997 -  March 3 - Service between Toronto - Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas launched with A319 equipment.

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Issued  dated October 1996

A fond farewell to Prestwick.

By Roddy McPhee, Customer Service Manager, Glasgow.

Air Canada transferred the last of its presence in Prestwick to Glasgow this past August 16, 1996.

Air Canada's first transatlantic flight to this Scottish town left Montreal on July 22, 1943 arriving the following day. The first flight's crew commanded by Captain Ron George, included Navigator  John R. Gilmore (who would later serve as Prestwick's Station Manager in the 50's and 60's) and Radio Operator Graham Nettleton.

We were pleased to have Graham in attendance when we celebrated our 50th anniversary on July 23, 1993.

In the years that followed, Prestwick saw North Stars, then the Super Constellation and, eventually, jet service with the DC-8, B747, L1011 and B767. Although many other European destinations came along, Prestwick's number one status in history was secured.

The Prestwick group said farewell to its last scheduled passenger flight on May 14, 1990. Prestwick was Air Canada's first transatlantic destination in July 1943. 

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The photo below is of the late John R. Gilmore, TCA Station Manager and some of his team gather around for a photo in Prestwick’s Commissary circa late 1950's. 

Prestwick also has the distinction, I believe, of having the first employee TCA hired outside North America, Miss Marion MacDonald. She will not want me to remind people that she started with TCA at Prestwick on November 22, 1943 and retired as the station's longest serving employee after more than 40 years.

TCA and later Air Canada provided continuous service to Prestwick until May 1990 when passenger operations were transferred to Glasgow. Freighter service remained until the freighters were withdrawn in March 1994. Since then there has been a cargo presence in Prestwick.

The entire cargo operations has opened in the new Glasgow warehouse. This consolidation will present opportunities to grow the cargo business in Scotland and better serve many of the existing cargo customers.

"Lang may yer lum reek" (a Scottish expression wishing continuing prosperity and meaning literally "long may your chimney smoke")!

We bid a fond farewell to Prestwick. Your place in Air Canada history is forever secure.

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Issue dated November 1996

Celebrating our first 50 years at Heathrow (LHR).

by Jane Whigham, Public Relations - London, England

In September 1996, we celebrated fifty years of service at London's Heathrow Airport, the first North American carrier to reach this milestone at the airport. And we celebrated in style!

The festivities kicked off on September 15 when more than 1,000 employees and their families enjoyed the Family Fun Day and barbecue at Kempton Park race course.

Air Canada's largest employee event ever held outside Canada, the Fun Day was held in brilliant autumn sunshine and employees and their families were able to try their hand at simulated golf, sumo wrestling, five-a-side soccer, simulated surfboarding, pole jousting and many other activities.

On September 16, the actual anniversary date, Air Canada presented a maple tree (pictured below) to Heathrow Airport which was planted close to the Visitor Centre. In presenting the tree to Mike Roberts, Managing Director of Heathrow Airport Limited, Egon Koch, Vice President, Europe, said he hoped the next 50 years would be as successful as those just completed.

Looking Back At The First 50 Years

  • September 16, 1946 - Air Canada's first flight into Heathrow was aboard a 10-seat Lancastrian (converted Lancaster bomber) from Montreal via Prestwick.
    • Range: 3,050 statute miles. Cruising Speed: 250 mph (402 kph).
  • 1947-57 - The Lancastrian was replaced by the larger DC-4 North Star which carried 62 passengers.
    • Range: 3,860 statute miles. Cruising Speed: 230 mph (370 kph).
  • 1957-62  - Service began between London and Toronto with the 75-seat Super Constellation.
    • Range: 3,160 statute miles. Cruising Speed: 315 mph (507 kph).
  • 1960-83 - The transatlantic jet age began with the introduction of the DC-8 which remained in passenger service across the Atlantic until 1983, although some were still flying in all cargo configuration until 1994.
    • Range: 3,375 statute miles. Cruising Speed: 530 mph (853 kph).
  • 1971- Air Canada introduced the Boeing 747-100. Currently AC operates three types of B747's including the B747-400. Passenger configurations vary according to model, but they carry up to 416 passengers.
    • Range: 6,670 statute miles. Cruising Speed: 570 mph (917 kph).
  • 1973-93 - Lockheed 1011's, Series 100 and 500, operated to London, the latter carrying 244 passengers.
    • Range: 5,120 statute miles. Cruising Speed: 548 mph (882 kph).
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tmb uniforms 1946At the airport, Customer Sales Service Coordinator, Chris Brokenshire inspired an enthusiastic team of volunteers to decorate the check-in area and two passenger agents, Tracey Haveland and Kellie Drew (pictured at left) , dressed up in 1946 flight attendant uniforms and greeted passengers arriving at the airport. The uniforms won the universal approval of passengers with comments that we should return to the tailored look, but staff are not convinced. "Many people have said they prefer those uniforms to today’s business suits," said Kellie.

All departing passengers were given anniversary pins and souvenir baggage tags detailing the different types of Air Canada aircraft used on Heathrow routes since 1946. The fiftieth passenger to check-in for each flight on the anniversary was also presented with a bottle of champagne. The anniversary day was brought to a close with a cocktail reception in the airport's Maple Leaf Lounge for airport executives, airline and local dignitaries and cargo and travel industry leaders.

Editors' Note: Does anyone have a pin and/or the baggage tags mentioned they could scan for the NetLetter and is there any news about the tree?


In Quebec City, Pierre Tousignant, Manager, Customer Service, receives special treatment on his 30th anniversary.

From left to right: Pierre Tousignant; Louise Guimond, Customer Sales and Service Agent; Sue Welscheid, General Manager, Customer Service - Eastern Canada.

Back row: Steve Myles, Lead Station Attendant; Denis Isabelle, Station Attendant; Jacqueline Perrier, Customer Sales and Service Agent; Gary Doucet, Lead Station Attendant; Pauline Jean, Secretary; Pierre Guay, Baggage Agent and Patrick Coté, Station Attendant.

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Here are some of the employees working at the Airport in Kingston, Jamaica.

Front row, left to right: Rilla Stoddart, Sr. CSA; CSA's Michelle Williams, Ingrid EvansMargot Lakhan and Marlene Mayne.

Back row, left to right: CSA's Jillain Hall, Wendy Lue, Tashia Thompson, Michelle Hoo-Kim, Richard Myers and Osmond J. Harry, Manager, Customer Service, West Caribbean.

tmb 550 kingston jamaica staff

In Halifax, Customer Sales and Service Agent Ruth Hart is all smiles as she celebrates her 35th anniversary with her coworkers.

From left to right: Customer Sales and Service Agents Carolyn Martin, Anne Bagnell, Ruth Hart and Ed Totten; Steve Macdonald, Customer Service Manager; Customer Sales and Service Agents Lexie BlacklerShirley McDonald, Winston MacDonald, Ralph Mohammed and Astrid Martin.

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