Air Canada to retire 79 aircraft

A Boeing 767 of Air Canada. Photo: © Phillip Rohmberger / IFN

Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge have announced plans to accelerate the retirement of 79 older aircraft – almost a third of the combined fleet – amid the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. This was mentioned during the airline’s first quarter financial results on Monday.

According to this plan, the remaining Embraer E190 regional jets of Air Canada will be retired immediately. The retirement of this aircraft type was initially scheduled to be completed in early or mid 2020, but has apparently encountered delays.

Furthermore, the phase-out of more than 60 Airbus A319 and Boeing 767 aircraft from both Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge will be accelerated. The airline has not yet specified when the planes are set to leave.

Air Canada currently has 13 Airbus A319 and five remaining Boeing 767-300ER in its fleet, according to, although the ongoing crisis has caused most of these aircraft to be temporarily inactive right now. Its low-cost subsidiary Air Canada Rouge, which is mostly offering flights to leisure destinations, operates 22 Airbus A319 and 25 Boeing 767-300ER, all of which are currently grounded.

The Boeing 767 is the only long-haul aircraft in the fleet of Air Canada Rouge. Unless the company decides to replace it through a different aircraft type, this retirement would mean the end of the airline’s long-haul flying.

Air Canada has reduced its total capacity for the second quarter of 2020 by 85 to 90 percent, in response to Coronavirus, resulting travel restrictions and severely dropped demand. The airline says it expects the recovery from this crisis to take ‘at least’ three years.