The NetLetter #966
Since Oct/95 March 17, 2007


Number 966

About us!

Pionairs 30th AGM in Victoria

Nanaimo Koffee Klatch

Air Canada News

Celebrating the decades!

Star Alliance News

Reader Feedback

Found on the Internet


AC Heritage Poster



NetLetter Archives

About us!

Since October 1995, Vesta Stevenson and Terry Baker have been issuing an email newsletter for those ex Air Canada types who have provided us with their email addresses. The Newsletter was created by Vesta, who gave the name 'NetLetter' and added 'Between Ourselves' - a TCA periodical with which you are probably familiar with from the 50's and 60's. It was then changed to "Between Yourselves" to avoid confusion when "Horizons" resurrected the name. Then finally simplified to just "The NetLetter".

We believe that our NetLetter, which originates from Vancouver Island, was the FIRST to use this medium to disperse information for retirees of Air Canada.

The NetLetter contains airline related information such as anecdotes or stories supplied by some of the recipients, Internet tips, travel news, cheap... excuse me, "inexpensive" accommodations, tours, interline travel, and, in some small way, we help keep our Air Canada family together and in touch.

Our 'NetLetter' is NOT sponsored by any Pionair group, nor are we seeking any financial support, only the Internet email addresses of those who would like to receive our 'NetLetter'. Please forward this to other retirees who can then subscribe right from the forwarded link at the bottom of this email.


ACFamily Network



Air Canada Heritage Poster


Dear NetLetter,

Welcome to the 966th issue of "NetLetter". The NetLetter is the longest running newsletter (since 1995) that is dedicated to Air Canada retirees.

We now estimate that the NetLetter is read by over 2750 retirees when counting our email distribution and those that print the NetLetter and give them out to their friends. The "NetLetter" is written by Vesta Stevenson and Terry Baker from Vancouver Island (see sidebar) and also with articles and comments from "you" our readers. Formatting of text, photos, etc. for this HTML version is done by Webmaster Alan Rust and is published courtesy of the ACFamily Network at www.acfamily.net

  • Pionairs 30th AGM in Victoria
  • Vesta

    Vesta, Alan and Terry were happy, and very encouraged, to meet with the numerous Pionairs who stopped by to say hi to us during the A.G.M.


    The 30th A.G.M. of the Pionairs was held in Victoria. The weather could have been a bit kinder as there were showers and a cold wind. However, the weather was improving by the conclusion of the AGM, just in time for those who could not find space on the flights home, to enjoy everything that Victoria has to offer.
    The Pionairs and spouses in attendance numbered around 400, the main complaint being that holding the event during spring break did not help with space available travel.
    The oldest member in attendance was introduced - aged 92.
    Sun Life were in attendance dispensing information and bottles of flavoured water.
    Interline World Vacations of Vancouver were on hand with a host of cruise and vacation books
    At the head table for the information session on Wednesday morning, John Hopkins, President of Pionairs, introduced, from Air Canada,
    Shirley Graham, Reine Khantchad, Natalie Henderson and Carol Zoeller.
    Carol Zoeller, from H.R., gave a presentation of the changes made to the Aeronet portal, and the plans for providing additional information, specifically for retirees, in the very near future.
    Shirley Graham gave an update on the insurances for both Sun Life and Great-West Life and pointed out the change to the supplementary coverage now in effect. Also the slight increase in some of the premiums.
    Reine Khantchard, from Employee Travel, outlined some of the changes -
    - No change to the number of passes.
    - Service award passes now have a validity of 90 days from the outbound travel date, and can be open- jaw..
    - All other passes remain at 30 day validity from outbound travel date.
    - Booking a C1/J10 will not be allowed within 24 hours of a desired flight.
    - It was strongly recommended that the travel web site be visited frequently to view the Policies section and to ensure the personal profile is correct.
    - A further reduction of airlines offering ZED fares will be made mid summer. This is due to the commercial interline agreements being revised between Air Canada and some airlines.
    - Arrangements are in hand to simplify the refund process for tickets.
    - Arrangements are being made removing the need to carry paper tickets for use at non-res points of departure and all pass travel will be paperless.
    Natalie Henderson addressed the pensions and provided facts and figures.
    In accordance with the terms of the CCAA, no adhoc pension increases will be forthcoming until at least 2009.
    Questions were fielded from the floor, and written questions were addressed.
    Door prizes were drawn, and the 3 prizes of the 50/50 were most generous at $175, $200 and $300. Air Canada supplied a number of prizes.
    As in previous A.G.M's, each district director donated a prize on behalf of their district.
    One prize was donated by Pionair Elke Abderhalden, who owns a B&B called Arbutus Hideaway. The prize was a two night stay for two people. Elke operates her B&B from April through Sept and can be contacted at 250-727-0673, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or web site www.arbutus-hideaway.com
    Introduced at the concluding session in the afternoon was Keven Howlett, Senior V.P. who gave a summary of the events during 2006 including fleet changes, new routes and the "Flight Pass" packages first launched "Flight Pass" in Canada almost three years ago, their popularity has grown exponentially. In 2006, we saw our pass sales more than double, and triple the number of first time users and was a first in the airline business, The fleet changes and new routes anticipated during 2007 were also addressed.. With the arrival of the B777 during 2007 and, in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of the company, events at major airports to show off the B777 are being arranged as Family Days, and the schedule will be advised through the "Daily" and the Pionairs email newsletters.

    Local districts of Pionairs will probably be approached for help in this regard.
    During the various intermissions, Doug Olson and Alan Rust made available their lap tops and were helping to seek available space for returning Pionairs.
    Several Directors voiced their concern at the lack of retirees into the Pionairs group. Carol Zoeller assured the group that, upon retirement, information regarding the Pionairs was included in the package of information supplied to the new retiree.
    The Pionair executive announced that the annual dues will be increased effective June 2007, and that next years A.G.M. will be held in Houston, Texas at the Houston Westchase Hotel on April 24 - 26th, 2008.
  • Nanaimo Koffee Klatch
  • At the Nanaimo Koffee Klatch, held on March 14th., only four managed to make it, presumably the AGM affected the numbers!
    Bryan & Carol Humphrey - Air Canada
    Peter Del Campo Hartman - Air Canada
    Claude Hamel - CAIL

  • Air Canada News
  • New Air Canada services introduced to the U.S. and northern B.C. from Calgary and Vancouver.
    Also announced yesterday was the expansion of our U.S. transborder network with the introduction of non-stop services from Vancouver to Sacramento, CA on June 15th., and from Calgary to Seattle, WA this June 1st.,
    In addition, we are launching new non-stop service from Calgary to Prince George, B.C. also on June 1st., All new flights will be operated by Air Canada Jazz with 50-seat, made-in-Canada Bombardier CRJ aircraft.
    We are also increasing flights on existing routes from western Canada to meet travel demand this summer.

    Air Canada launched its new in-flight music service "XM enRoute", powered exclusively by XM Canada, the first and only partnership of its kind in Canada.
  • Celebrating the decades!
  • This appeal from Mary Stewart, Employee Communications Manager – Corporate Managing Editor – Horizons

    With this year being the 70th anniversary, I’m planning on publishing a page on each decade in Horizons each month, starting with the April issue.

    Celebrating the decades!

    Starting with the April issue of Horizons, we’ll be looking back over the past 70 years to catch a glimpse of what our company was like in each decade. The first focus will be the 1930s. If you have any old photos or stories around from decades past, we’d love to see them! Please e-mail them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll try to include them in our celebration of the 70th!

    Mary Stewart
    Employee Communications Manager – Corporate Managing Editor – Horizons
    514 422-4217

  • Star Alliance News
  • Star Alliance

    Air New Zealand's announcement recently that it is launching a direct Auckland-Vancouver route in November.

    Singapore Airlines says it's more than willing to serve India out of Vancouver now that Air Canada has announced it is terminating its Toronto-Zurich- Delhi flights.
    Ottawa imposed the three-flight limit in 1992 to protect Canadian airlines. Yet soon there will be no Canadian airline serving India or South Asia.
    There were hopes the impasse would end after the federal government last year announced its "Blue Sky" policy to open Canada's skies to competition.
    Qatar Airways to confirm A350 order, wants Star Alliance membership. Qatar Airways is “in the final stages of negotiations” to confirm its Airbus A350 order. Qatar Airways placed an order for 60 of the original A350s in 2006 and is still by far the largest customer for the aircraft.
    On the alliance front, Al-Bakr noted that “we would be keen to join the Star Alliance.” He stressed that the airline already has bilateral agreements in place with many other Star carriers, including Lufthansa. Source Aviation Daily
    BMI (British Midland) is taking a partial U-turn on the paid-for in flight catering service concept introduced in August 2005 on short-haul mainline operations at London Heathrow, announcing reintroduction of complimentary food and drink for certain loyalty program members. Diamond Club members also will benefit from priority seating. The change will apply from April 2.
    Source: Air Transport World
  • Reader Feedback
  • and this appeal from Jack Stevens -
    Jack is interested in hearing from anyone who flew Viscounts, maintained or handled them to send me interesting stories, of when and where so we can gather them for the site. Eventually we plan to have these stories up on the site. These stories could include accidents, VIP's on board...even their views on what it was like to fly the aircraft. We need more photos too and would appreciate them very much. The most appropriate will go up on the site and credit will given to the donor. Photos are better if scanned at 300 dpi and postcards, clippings or posters at 150 dpi. Us Viscount guys are slipping away, and there is a kind of urgency to gather these stories and photos.
    I invite anyone to contact me at:
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    (From Alan) - the photo above is not of Jack, but of me at the BC Aviation Museum at Victoria Airport after the AGM last week. This is former AC Fin#625

    Vickers Viscount Web Site

    Carol Humphrey sends us this info -
    Ryanair's 'hidden charges'
    Ryanair (UK leading low cost airline) has been accused of effectively charging passengers an extra fee, even if they travel without luggage.
    The airline, which has already imposed a £7 return charge for every item put in the hold, now appears to be charging anyone who travels without bags a £4 fee for return flights when they book on its website.
    After choosing flights, the airline asks every passenger how many bags will be checked in. The only option given for those without luggage includes a priority boarding charge of £4 return.
    Only after this option is selected does small print appear, giving the opportunity to remove the charge - something that many passengers seem unaware of.
    A Ryanair spokesman said the airline does not initially offer those without luggage an option to travel without the priority boarding fee was "to bring this time-saving service to people's attention". "The priority boarding fee is entirely discretionary and 80 per cent of our passengers opt not to use the service," she added.
    If 20 per cent of passengers use the service, Ryanair could earn more than £8 million extra over the coming year.

  • Found on the Internet
    A British man who describes himself as “blind as a bat” intends to fly an ultralight from Britain to Australia later this year, following the route of a 1919 air race through Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Miles Hilton-Barber, who crossed the English Channel in an ultralight equipped with voice annunciating instruments in 2003, will tackle the 15,000-mile trip on Monday. He’s hoping to raise about $2 million for Seeing Is Believing, a charity that works to prevent blindness in Third World countries. Hilton-Barber will be accompanied by a sighted pilot.

    Transport Canada’s plan to transfer some safety oversight and inspection responsibility to the country’s airlines, along with an aggressive cost-cutting regime, are being criticized by a prominent safety expert. According to the Ottawa Citizen, Virgil Moshansky, who headed a commission of inquiry into a 1989 Air Ontario accident that killed 24 people, told a House of Commons committee looking at changes to the Aeronautics Act that conditions are ripe for another airline disaster. “I certainly think it’s on the horizon, especially if this oversight divesting is allowed to proceed,” Moshansky said. “Today, 18 years after Dryden, history is repeating itself, only worse. Cost- cutting is again in vogue at Transport Canada and has been for some time,” he told the committee. Transport Canada is proposing an overhaul of the safety inspection system that would put more onus on the airlines and result in audits being conducted only on operations thought to be at higher risk. Transport! Minister Lawrence Cannon rejected the criticism and said safety will be enhanced with the new system.
  • Smiley
  • Smiley

    Overheard while en route from Loveland, Colo., to Mesa, Ariz.:
    United 123: Center, we’ve got continuous chop at 390. Is the ride any better lower?
    Center: United 123, standby. Cactus 222 how’s the ride?
    Cactus 222: Continuous chop at 350.
    Center: United 111, no joy. We’re getting reports of continuous light to moderate chop at all flight levels.
    Unknown Aircraft: C’mon down big fella! The ride’s nice and smooth here at flight level 085!

  • AC Heritage Poster
  • Enjoy this visual display of Air Canada’s historic fleet from its beginning in 1937 to the present including aircraft from:
    - Trans-Canada Air Lines
    - Canadian Airlines
    - Pacific Western
    - Eastern Provincial
    - Nordair
    - Transair
    - Wardair

    This 68 x 96 cm (27 x 38 inch) poster is printed in full colour on high quality paper and depicts over 300 aircraft and liveries flown by Air Canada throughout its history.

    The cost of the poster is $24.99 plus tax and shipping where applicable. This is a great gift for Christmas, reunions, retirements and birthday gifts, etc.

    A donation is made to Dreams Take Flight for each poster that is sold. Any other profits support the operation of the ACFamily Network which brings you this newsletter.

    More info here
  • Sponsors
  • The hosting and mailing of the NetLetter as well as the conversion to HTML format is provided compliments of the ACFamily Network and Nerds On Site. Content is researched and submitted by Vesta Stevenson and Terry Baker. Thank you for letting us into your homes!

    Please support the ACFamily Network
  • Submissions
  • Important reminder, for all new articles, submissions and or comments for the "The Netletter" please send to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Please add to your Address Books).

    This e-mail address has been set up so that both of us Terry & Vesta (exclusively) will get an automatic copy and so we can keep up with the continuity of news for the NetLetter.

    To make changes to your e-mail address or to unsubscribe, please see the links at the bottom of the page for "Update Profile/Email address" and SafeUnsubscribe. This is now automated so that you can remove yourself from the list or change your email address (or name) without our assistance. We will still do this manually if you have any difficulties.

    Many of our members are having difficulty finding these links. You will need to scroll to the bottom of the page, the link is similar to the following image. (The image below doesn't work but your links at the bottom will).

    Vesta, Terry and Alan thank you for your co- operation.

  • NetLetter Archives
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