Air Canada's flight AC2201 from Vancouver to Beijing on Wednesday (Jan. 26) marked the first of three special charter flights transporting Team Canada to the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
The airline also named its Team Air Canada athlete ambassadors and outlined its comprehensive program in support of Team Canada's journey to excellence at the 2022 Winter Games.
"At Air Canada, we are proud to literally 'Fly the Flag' as we transport Team Canada to the 2022 Winter Games and honour their journey to the podium. We're also delighted to endorse Olympians as Team Air Canada athlete ambassadors. Their resilience and relentless drive to be the very best in their sport, while embodying Canada's collective values of diversity, inclusivity, openness, and kindness inspire all of us. We look forward to sharing our athletes' individual journeys and cheering on all members of Team Canada in their pursuit of excellence," said Andy Shibata, vice-president, brand at Air Canada.
Canadian Olympic Committee Chief Brand and Commercial Officer Jacquie Ryan said the pandemic has resulted "in many logistical challenges."
"However, our amazing partner at Air Canada has provided incredible support behind the scenes to ensure a safe path for athletes including air charter services to and from Beijing. We have never been more proud to Fly The Flag on the official airline of Team Canada," Ryan said.
Karen O'Neill, CEO, Canadian Paralympic Committee, called flying to the host city is "an important step of the journey for all athletes, coaches, and support staff as they prepare to represent Canada and be at their best for the Paralympic Games."
"A big thank you to Air Canada for all of their support in ensuring Team Canada is able to get to the Games safely and comfortably," O'Neill said.
Air Canada's charter flights operate with a 787 Dreamliner in a special livery.
Flights from Vancouver to Beijing take place today, Jan. 29, and Feb. 25, and return to Canada from Beijing to Vancouver and Toronto on Feb. 21 and to Vancouver on Mar. 14.
Team Air Canada Athlete Ambassadors
- Cassie Sharpe – Freestyle Skiing – Halfpipe
- Cynthia Appiah – Bobsleigh
- Gilmore Junio – Speed Skating – Long Track
- Marie-Philip Poulin – Ice Hockey
- Mikaël Kingsbury – Freestyle Skiing – Moguls
- Paralympians to be announced prior to Paralympic Games
In addition to the employees and crews dedicated to transporting Team Canada safely to and from the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Air Canada is:
- Recognizing Team Canada's drive and determination through the airline's "Rise Higher" brand spot online via Air Canada's social media channels and in broadcast throughout the Games,
- Presenting all Team Canada athletes with unique, personal care kits including Canadian-made travel essentials to help make their flight even more comfortable, together with a complimentary Wi-Fi streaming pass, courtesy of our partner Intelsat,
- Providing all Team Canada athletes with Aeroplan points, complimentary 35K status which includes complimentary checked bags through the Aeroplan Elite Podium Program to help make their journey to the podium more travel friendly,
- Encouraging fans to virtually connect with Team Canada in unique and innovative ways to enable them to experience the 2022 Winter Games as if they were there.
Learn more here. Air Canada has been a proud sponsor of the Canadian Olympic Team since 1988 and of the Canadian Paralympic Team since 2007.