Letter from Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO: Above and Beyond
Feb 01, 2018

Spider-man fans know that with great power comes great responsibility. At Air Canada, employees have put their own spin on this super¬hero credo: With great abilities come great pos¬sibilities – possibilities to help people.

Network-wide, Air Canada flies 375 aircraft to 200 destinations globally through the teamwork of 30,000 employees. We put our talents to work every day safely transporting customers, but sometimes occasions arise when we can do so much more.

Last fall we flew 50 extra flights to move thousands from the path of Caribbean hurricanes. The effort involved hundreds of employees, many of whom vol¬unteered their weekends to pack emergency relief kits. Sadly, there were other situations in 2017 requiring us to step up too, such as delivering search-and-rescue dogs after an earthquake in Mexico and expediting sandbags across Canada for Quebec flood victims.

Our desire to help is the reason behind the Air Canada Foundation, which facilitates charitable giv¬ing, volunteering and community participation. This includes supporting Dreams Take Flight, which over 25 years has flown thousands of disadvantaged chil¬dren to Disney. We sponsor events such as the Toronto Invictus Games, in which so many employees wanted to lend their hand that we held a contest to choose our ambassadors. We have also started a Christmas Surprise tradition to give the gift of travel so that peo¬ple can join loved ones or help others.

Most impressively, small groups or individuals act on their own initiative. I think of the station attendant who stayed up all night past his shift to watch over the casket of a customer’s mother, or of the pilot who drove a distraught customer from the airport to the hospital and her sick husband’s bedside.

But it is not all life or death. Sometimes, we help in ways that simply bring a smile. One such instance involved a fellow aviator, a rare Bullock’s oriole blown far off course while migrating. Responding to a bird sanctuary’s plea, Air Canada Cargo obtained special government permission to fly the delicate bird cross- country to its West Coast home.

Helping wherever we can does not make us superheroes – it is the Canadian way. Still, I am proud of Air Canada employees’ willingness to go above and beyond, and if necessary do the extraordinary, whether it be for strangers facing disaster or simply to ensure that our customers enjoy a great flight.

Calin’s column appears every month in enRoute Magazine, Air Canada’s award-winning in-flight magazine found onboard all Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express flights. This edition is from the February 2018 issue.