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  • Joe Breitfeller

Air Canada to Fly Airbus A220-300 With Legacy TCA Livery Across North America

Air Canada has officially revealed their specially painted Airbus A220-300 in the colors of the airline’s original name, Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA). The special livery pays tribute to the carrier’s heritage, dating back to 1932.


Air Canada Airbus A220-300 in Heritage TCA Livery - Courtesy Air Canada

On Tuesday (March 16, 2021), Air Canada officially revealed a specially painted Airbus A220-300 in the colors of the airline’s original name, Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA). The special livery pays tribute to the airline’s heritage, dating back to 1932, and will be deployed across North America. As many avgeeks may recall, this isn’t the first time the TCA livery has appeared on an Air Canada aircraft. As the carrier celebrated their 60th anniversary in 1997, the TCA livery was painted on a brand-new Airbus A319 (Fin 264, Registration C-FZUH), making its delivery flight between Toulouse and Montreal. After 24 years of service, that aircraft was retired in January 2021.


This month, the newest aircraft in Air Canada’s narrow-body fleet, an Airbus A220-300 Fin 119 (Registration C-GNBN) will maiden flight. Air Canada was the first North American operator of the Airbus A319 in 1997 and the Mirabel-built A220-300 in January 2020, so the handoff of the special livery seems only fitting. The TCA liveried A220-300 took 75 employees from a variety of Air Canada teams nine days to paint, utilizing 350 litres of paint in four colors.


Designed and built in Quebec, the A220-300 is an integral part of Air Canada’s fleet modernization program. The aircraft includes parts from 30 companies that are based in, or operate in Canada, making the aircraft truly important for Canada’s aviation sector.



The TCA logo features the maple leaf synonymous with Canada, but what was the origin of the iconic Air Canada Rondelle logo? After 27 years in business, by 1964 TCA had become the seventh lost airline in the world and the company recognized that a corporate rebranding which reflected the size, prestige and future of the company was in order.


Over the previous decades, the company had successfully introduced the ‘Air Canada’ moniker to better serve the French-speaking market, so TCA decided to rebrand permanently as Air Canada. The design firm Stewart and Morrison Ltd. was soon commissioned, and lead designer Hans Kleefeld quickly produced ideas for Air Canada’s Board of Directors. Mr. Kleefeld also designed the iconic logos for Tim Hortons and the Bank of Montreal, among others. In October 1964, the new corporate signature and logo (the Rondelle) was unveiled and officially adopted on January 1, 1965.



Source: Air Canada