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July 10, 2007 | General

– Three times weekly starting October 31, 2006
– Daily flights beginning April 1, 2007

Edmonton, CNW Telbec – Air Canada today announced the introduction of the only non-stop flights between Edmonton and London Heathrow, further solidifying the airline’s position as the leading carrier offering the most non-stop service between Canada and the U.K. By next summer, Air Canada will offer up to 15 daily non-stop flights to London from eight cities across Canada: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal,Halifax and St. John’s.

Air Canada’s Edmonton-London Heathrow flights will operate three times weekly starting October 31, 2006 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, ramping up to daily service beginning April 1, 2007. Air Canada flight AC898 departs Edmonton at 18:35 (20:25 departure time on Tuesdays), arriving at Heathrow at 10:10; and flight AC899 will leave Heathrow at 12:35, arriving in Edmonton at 14:30. Flights have been timed to ensure convenient connections in Edmonton to and from Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie and Yellowknife.

Air Canada has timed its Edmonton-London flights to ensure convenient connections at Heathrow with its Star Alliance partners, offering an expanded network to all major European cities as well as destinations across the Middle East and Africa. Tickets are now available for purchase.

“Air Canada’s new non-stop service between Edmonton and London Heathrow offers travellers and freight forwarders in one of the fastest growing economic regions of the country direct access to the world’s busiest international gateway,” said Ben Smith, Vice President, Network Planning. “We are confident our newest international service will meet the growing global travel requirements spurred on by the vibrant and booming Northern Alberta economy. Air Canada now offers the fastest and most convenient way for Northern Albertans to travel to London and beyond, with one connection point to every major destination throughout Europe, the Middle East and Persian Gulf region, India and Africa. We have invested significantly in Edmonton this past year, strategically responding to strong market demand. As Edmonton’s leading airline, Air Canada will have launched nine new flights by year end, offering the most daily non-stop flights to international, Caribbean, US and Canadian cities.”

Air Canada will operate the new route using 212-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft offering a choice of Executive First and Economy service. The Boeing 767 fleet is being refurbished to feature Air Canada’s new personal entertainment system with 8.9-inch wide digital in-seat monitors and touch-screen controls offering audio and video on demand programming at every seat. Other features will include Air Canada’s new lie-flat beds in Executive First, as well as new Economy seating and cabin design with in-seat power within reach of every customer.

Air Canada offers Aeroplan member benefits, thru-baggage check and advance boarding passes, online check-in up to 24 hours prior to departure and express check-in kiosks at Edmonton as well as Heathrow to simplify the travel experience. Air Canada also welcomes Executive First customers, Aeroplan Super Elite and Elite members, Star Alliance Gold card holders and Maple Leaf Club members to its Maple Leaf Lounge in Edmonton and to its Arrivals Lounge as well as the London Lounge at Heathrow.

“Edmonton’s economy is at the centre of the massive oil sands and northern economic development, that is positioning this region as a major driver of the Canadian economy,” states Mayor Stephen Mandel, City of Edmonton. “We have outpaced all major Canadian cities in the past five years economically, and with more than $100 billion in current or announced mega- projects in Edmonton’s service area, this trend will continue.” Mayor Mandel concludes, “Air Canada’s non-stop London service will ensure strong links between the global economy and this important region, and in addition to the vital business benefits, it will support growing Edmonton, Jasper and northern tourist links and make London our region’s one-stop to the world.”

“Edmonton and the north are in the midst of a staggering economic boom and Edmonton International Airport’s record-breaking numbers reflect this economic growth,” states Reg Milley, Edmonton Airports President and CEO. “Building on the exceptional pace of 2005 passenger traffic, Edmonton International Airport has broken a record each month in 2006 for most passengers served. Edmonton, with its strategic position connecting Edmonton and the north to the world, also continues to lead all of Canada’s major airports in percentage passenger growth with a 15 % passenger increase to the end of July. Air Canada’s non-stop London service will deliver the convenience and opportunity of an entirely new international network of services to our expanding passenger base.”

James Rajotte, M.P. for Edmonton-Leduc, where Edmonton International
Airport is located, and Rahim Jaffer, M.P. for Edmonton-Strathcona and Chair of the National Conservative Caucus also welcomed Air Canada’s Edmonton-London Heathrow flight announcement.

“I welcome the announcement of non-stop Edmonton-London service, and I would like to personally thank Air Canada and the entire Edmonton Airports team for supporting the Edmonton community in introducing our first scheduled international flights,” said Mr. Rajotte. “Air Canada’s new Heathrow flights support the growing importance of our Capital Region as a global destination in both business and leisure.”

“This is great news for business and leisure travellers across the
Northern Alberta region,” said Mr. Jaffer. “The opening of a direct flight will connect Edmonton to the European market and position our city for even greater future success.”

From Edmonton, Air Canada and Jazz offer up to 54 daily flights to 15 destinations in North America, as well as the Caribbean and London Heathrow. By the end of this year, Air Canada will have launched nine new non-stop services from Edmonton during 2006, to: Montreal, Los Angeles, Yellowknife, Victoria, Kelowna, Las Vegas (September 7), London Heathrow (October 31), Cancun (December 20), and Punta Cana, DR (December 21).

Montréal-based Air Canada provides scheduled and charter air transportation for passengers and cargo to more than 150 destinations on five continents. Canada’s flag carrier is the 14th largest commercial airline in the world and serves 30 million customers annually with a fleet consisting of 332 aircraft. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance providing the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network.