By far the most significant development of the year for Trans-Canada Air Lines was the introduction of 20 large North Star aircraft on domestic and overseas routes.

In a review of the year, Mr. G. R. McGregor, President of the airline, revealed that the seating capacity of the fleet had been increased by 50 per cent and another 5,000 miles had been added to T.C.A. routes bringing the total from 11,000 up to 16,000 miles. During 1948 some 20,000,000 revenue miles were flown which is an increase of 2,000,000 over the previous year.

Air cargo ton-mileage increased by 70 per cent, and mail ton-mileage was increased by 67 per cent as the result of a new policy of carrying first class mail by air at unchanged postal rates. Commonly called "all-up" mail, this service provides for the carriage of all letters in Canada, weighing an ounce or less. North Stars were introduced on trans-Continental services on June 1st, flying two round trips daily between Montreal and Vancouver. Some of the latest type were added to the North Atlantic fleet which permitted two flights daily between Canada and the U.K., as well as many charter flights. In all T.C.A. flew the Atlantic 1,400 times on revenue services during the year. With the introduction of North Stars, the DC-3 fleet was diverted to service on Provincial routes. Services were opened to Bermuda on May 1st with two flights a week from Toronto and Montreal and later a third flight was added. Services to the British West Indies started in December, flying from Montreal to Toronto, Nassau, Kingston and Port-of-Spain, twice a week, one finishing at Jamaica and the other continuing to Trinidad. Although it is thought that traffic will be mostly with holidaymakers, and consequently seasonal, the route touches areas of agricultural and industrial significance to Canada.

On domestic services in 1948 T.C.A. carried 537,000 passengers, 2,540 tons of mail and 1,665 tons of cargo. Overseas flights accommodated 31,300 passengers, 999 tons of mail and 290 tons of cargo. In addition, 175 west-bound crossings of the Atlantic were made with immigrants, and in June T.C.A. flew six round trip flights a day over the Rockies to move 9,000 persons and 600,000 lb of food to and from British Columbia, when surface connections were severed through severe floods. The T.C.A. fleet now consists of 20 four-engine North Stars, 27 DC-3's, and seven Lodestars. Improvements along the routes were carried out in office and hangar accommodation and to runways at some airports. No large route extensions are foreseen by T.C.A. in the immediate future, but the policy will be to consolidate those routes which are already being flown.

(Source: Flight International archives January 6, 1949)

Captured during its first visit to Airbus's Bremen facility, the A330-based BelugaXL transport made is stop at the German site as part of a test campaign which will check its loading system and compatibility with the plant's newly modified docking station.
Service entry is due in 2019. 

(Source: Flight International November  20, 2018)

tmb airbus belugaXL

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