Fly the Branded Skies

 

Airline: Air Canada

These are posts from Fly the Branded Skies about Air Canada.

ICAO Code: ACA

Air Canada Trans-Canada Airlines Wings
Air Canada Wings
Air Canada Wings (Silver)
Air Canada Wings (Red)

Canadian airlines get in the holiday spirit

Two Canadian airlines have launched holiday videos in the past week. WestJet followed up last year’s remarkably successful Christmas Miracle with a similar program in a new locale: an underprivileged destination in the Dominican Republic. (Agency: Mosaic)

Meanwhile, Air Canada surprised Canadian ex-pats in London with a free flight home for the holidays. (Agency: JWT Toronto)

Flyby Wire:  September 22nd, 2013

Welcome to the 16th issue of The Work This Week, a weekly roundup of new advertising, identity, and brand experience work from around the airline industry. This week, the friendly skies are back.
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Wet Paint

[Censored]

On Sunday, a Thai International Airways A330 carrying 280 passengers skidded off the runway while landing in Bangkok. There were 14 injuries but, thankfully, no fatalities.

A regrettable accident, to be sure. But the world might barely have noticed if ambulances and fire trucks had been the only vehicles to respond to the emergency. Instead, within hours, Thai also dispatched a bucket truck. In the dead of night, airline workers painted over the logo on the tail and the titles on the fuselage — in full view of photographers.
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Flight 1

There’s one facet of airline branding that’s subtle, yet intensely symbolic. And best of all, it doesn’t cost a thing. It’s the flight number.

In the age of rail, railroads often reserved lower numbers for their most prestigious trains. By the jet age, Pan Am used “flight 1″ for its fabled round-the-world service (flight 2 flew the same route, but in the opposite direction.) The flight an airline designates as “flight 1″ has powerful meaning. It may reflect the airline’s history (as in the cases of Southwest, JetBlue, and American.) Or it might reflect present priorities (as for Air Canada.) Sometimes flight 1 can give you a deep insight into an airline’s soul. And sometimes not.
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Flyby Wire:  June 2nd, 2013

Welcome to the third issue of The Work This Week, a weekly roundup of new advertising, identity, and brand experience work from around the airline industry. This week, Air Canada rouge goes for the Justin Timberlake look, Avianca goes for the American look, and Turkish Airlines looks the same but smells even better.   Read more

Requiem: Air Canada Jazz (2001–2011)

Jazz #6192 by Craignos

Jazz, the brand formed by Air Canada in 2001 to consolidate its regional carriers, has flown its last flight. It was 10 years old.

Starting today, Jazz flights will be flown under the name Air Canada Express. The Air Canada Express name is already being used for flights to Montreal from Toronto City Airport, which are operated by a different company.

If the new brand sounds an awful lot like the name of a U.S. regional carrier, that’s not an accident. Air Canada’s strategy for its feeders is coming to resemble the American model of regional services like U.S. Airways Express, Continental Express, and United Express (see the connection?) The Air Canada Express brand will in fact cover flights operated by five different companies, none of them owned by Air Canada.

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URL

Further confounding my theory that Air Canada is the Liberal airline and Canadian (or WestJet) is the Conservative airline, for this election campaign, the Liberals have leased an American plane from a carrier based in Calgary, and the Conservatives have leased a French plane from a carrier based in Montreal. Go figure.

Remember when…

News leaked this week that United Airlines is polling its current and former employees on which classic livery to feature on a 757 next year. The livery will celebrate the airline’s 85th anniversary. Thanks to @GordonWerner, you can see the five options here. I don’t want to unduly influence the voting, but the Mainliner colours sure look sharp…

When United’s “retrojet” takes to the skies, it will join dozens of other airplanes painted in the bygone colours of dozens of different airlines. It seems almost every airline has a retrojet these days. The trend started ten years ago, and is only gaining momentum.   Read more

If you had wings

When I was a kid, we’d always have to get to the airport early on family vacations so I could visit all the various airline check-in counters and get some loot. In those days, every counter at least offered timetables and luggage tags, and most offered much more. The best ones had junior wings.

There are apparently more than 900 different kinds of junior wings out there. As a kid, visiting the check-in counters, I managed to collect ten of them: Air Canada, America West, American, Continental, Delta, Lufthansa, Northwest, SAS, Time Air, and United. Not bad for a 10-year-old.

Years passed. I found a set of Pan Am wings at a gift shop once, but otherwise, that was the end of my collection of wings. Until I realized something that 10-year-old Cameron would never have imagined:

You can find wings on eBay.   Read more

Wingwalkers

Canadian Airlines "Wingwalkers" ButtonThere’s an old joke that a town too small to support one lawyer is still big enough to support two. Canada is a small country that, historically at least, has been able to support two airlines: Air Canada on one side, and a variety of challengers over the years on the other.

The difference between this brand duopoly and, say, Coke and Pepsi, is that in Canada there has always been a subtle political dimension to airline branding.

Air Canada, the erstwhile Crown corporation, is the flying symbol of the central Canadian establishment. Its branding is sedate; its flashiest advertising so far featured a song by Celine Dion, an approved Canadian choice. Its headquarters are in Montreal. If Canada’s natural governing party had a natural governing airline, Air Canada would be it. Its symbol is a maple leaf; it is, after all, the flag carrier.   Read more