Air Canada Debuts a New Look

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There is a stylish new look coming down a runway near you.


Air Canada, the nation’s largest airline, debuted a complete redesign of the livery for their aircrafts and new uniforms for all their staff, from pilots to baggage handlers. The country’s flag carrier made the announcement this past week with a preview of the new look at events held simultaneously in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

The most noticeable change on the fleet’s new paint job is the colour scheme. The new look is predominantly white, with the engines, tail and underbelly in black. The iconic maple leaf logo stays in red but perhaps in a nod to the airline’s history, the maple leaf is once again in a circle – or rondelle, as it is known.  The airline had dropped the circle from the maple leaf design 24 years ago. And now the Air Canada lettering on the fuselage is black instead of red.

The look of the redesign, which was said to be inspired by Canada’s vast size, seasons, wildlife and First Nation heritage, was spearheaded by the international design firm Winkreative. The London-based agency, which is helmed by Canadian Tyler Brule, was also responsible for the look and brand identity of Porter Airlines when it was launched back in 2006.

For the design of the new Air Canada uniforms, the airline enlisted an actual fashion designer, not unlike the golden era of air travel when major designer names including Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Cristobal Balenciaga, Halston, Emilio Pucci and Bill Blass would design the outfits for air hostesses for major airlines around the world. Today, it’s not unheard of for airline employees to design their own uniforms or a mass retailer like Banana Republic to handle uniform design duties.

The Vancouver born Christopher Bates beat out several other competitors and was chosen to create Air Canada’s new uniforms. The designer honed his craft studying in Milan and is known for his swanky-looking menswear collections. The new uniforms for flight attendants will consist of classic grey and black with touches of red and accessories like a chic red handbag while pilots will be clad in a classic aviation look consisting of black suitings with gold trimming.

This major design overhaul also coincides with the new cabin interiors featured on the newest planes in Air Canada’s fleet; the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. With three aircrafts already sporting the new livery and in service, the rest of the airline’s fleet – some 300 aircrafts – will be thundering across the sky in the coming months sporting the new livery.