Air Canada officially unveils A220 retro livery

Ahead of its first flight, the specially painted jet breaks cover for the first time

Air Canada officially revealed its specially painted Airbus A220-300 in the colours of the carrier’s original name, Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA).

The narrowbody, C-GNBN (c/n 55112), took to the skies for the first time yesterday (March 14) on its maiden flight.

Air Canada
Air Canada was the first airline to fly the -300 variant in North America. Air Canada

The retro scheme pays tribute to the operator’s heritage, which can be traced back to its founding in 1937.

This is not the first time an Air Canada jet has appeared in the livery of its predecessor. In 1997, to mark its 60th anniversary, a brand-new Airbus A319 – C-FZUH (c/n 711) – also wore a similar scheme.

After 24 years in the fleet, the aircraft was retired and stored at Kanas City International Airport in January.

The A220 will now step in and replace the previous generation example on the carrier’s routes across North America.

There is some symmetry between the two examples. Air Canada was the first North American operator of the A319 and was also the first to operate the Airbus A220-300 on the continent when revenue service began in January 2020.

A319
An Airbus A319 previously wore the TCA retro scheme. Wikimedia Commons/Maarten Visser

The airline says the new aircraft is an integral part of its fleet modernisation and each A220 includes parts from 30 companies that are based in or have activities in Canada, making this aircraft a “true testament to the importance of the aviation sector in Canada.”

The scheme took nine days to complete and involved 75 Airbus Canada employees. A total 350 litres of paint, comprising four colours, was used.