Today Air Canada revealed a stunning new retro-jet on its latest undelivered Airbus A220 aircraft. The plane, registered C-GNBN, sports the Trans-Canada Air Lines grey, red, and white livery. It has yet to take its first flight, with Air Canada sharing images from the paint shop.
At Simple Flying, we love a retrojet. Many airlines paint aircraft in their old liveries to add some variety to their fleet, recognize their heritage, and promote the airline. Lufthansa has a Boeing 747 and an Airbus A321 in two different retro liveries, while British Airways painted four aircraft in retro liveries to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019.
A stunning retro livery
Today, Air Canada tweeted pictures of its stunning new Airbus A220-300 livery, designed to recognize its history with Trans-Canada Air Lines. The Trans Canada livery is predominately grey with a red and white stripe along the middle of the aircraft at the fuselage level.
Fresh from the @Airbus paint shop in Mirabel, our brand new #A220-300 proudly recognizes our heritage with a special Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA) livery. It will soon join our fleet in the sky, stay tuned! pic.twitter.com/4Io1UgbuWi
— Air Canada (@AirCanada) February 18, 2021
On the tail, it has a detailed red maple leaf in a gold circle with the letters TCA. Additionally, at the top of the ring, it features the BOAC Speedbird logo. Old TCA aircraft has an original Speedbird that looked different. However, Clarence Simonsen shares that the BOAC Speedbird was accidentally used in 1961 and has stuck around since. Last year an Air Canada A220 had to be repainted after its tail logo was applied back to front.
Previously, one of the airline’s A319s, C-FZUH, wore the livery since 1997. However, it was removed from service to be retired in January, meaning that by painting the A220, Air Canada is ensuring the livery lives on.
What was Trans-Canada Air Lines?
Much like BOAC was the predecessor to British Airways, Trans-Canada Air Lines was the predecessor to Air Canada. The airline was founded way back in 1937, operating as the country’s flag carrier.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
The airline operated a range of different now-classic aircraft across its operation, including the Lockheed Super Constellation. One of the Super Constellations today resides at The Museum Of Flight in Seattle. The airline would go on to become Air Canada in 1965.
A retrojet anniversary
While almost certainly a coincidence, Air Canada chose a very convenient day to reveal its TCA livery. Exactly two years ago today, British Airways took delivery of the first of four retrojets designed to celebrate its centenary. This aircraft, also featuring the BOAC Speedbird, was a Boeing 747-400, painted in the first livery worn by BA’s 747-100s.
Sadly, due to the current circumstances, the aircraft was retired several years ahead of schedule. While British Airways hasn’t painted another BOAC jet in its place, the aircraft managed to avoid the scrap yard. Today the aircraft can be found at St Athan, just down the road from BA’s Cardiff engineering site. While aircraft are typically sent to the facility to be scrapped, this aircraft (also the last Boeing 747 to fly for British Airways) will be preserved for years to come.
What do you make of Air Canada’s new Airbus A220 TCA retro livery? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!