TORONTO — Canada’s two biggest airlines are throwing their support behind Calgary’s bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
“Air Canada has a long association with Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes and particularly at home Games, starting with being the Official Airline at Calgary’s highly successful 1988 Olympic Winter Games. We are tremendously proud to fly the flag as we fully support the city’s bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. On behalf of our 30,000 worldwide employees, and especially our team of 1,900 employees who live and work in Calgary, we wish Calgarians the very best in their pursuit of these Games,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada.
To further demonstrate Air Canada’s support, one of the airline’s senior executives, Renee Smith-Valade, who has direct experience from eight previous Olympic Games – including both the Calgary 1988 and Vancouver 2010 Games – has been temporarily seconded to work with the Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation through the plebiscite and initial preparation of the international bid phase. Air Canada is also assisting in transporting athletes for special events related to Calgary’s bid.
Air Canada’s involvement in the Olympic movement include serving as official airline for the two previous home Games (Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games); official transportation provider for Canadian Olympic teams at Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010, London 2012, Sochi 2014, Rio 2016, Pyeongchang 2018, and Tokyo 2020.
Air Canada was also a supporter of the successful bids and organizing committees for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games, the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games, the Victoria 1994 Commonwealth Games and the Winnipeg 1999 Pan Am Games.
Air Canada also sponsored bids for the Quebec City 2002 Olympic Winter Games and the Toronto 2008 Olympic Games.
WestJet is also onboard with support for Calgary’s 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bid.
“Since 1996, WestJet has been proud to call Calgary home and we’re thrilled to announce our support for Calgary’s bid to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” says Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “The opportunity hosting the Games would provide in terms of economic growth and tourism is substantial for Calgary, Alberta and our country. We’re looking forward to showcasing our city and connecting the world to Calgary through our expanding global network in 2026.”
WestJet is Calgary’s largest airline, and by June 2019, will offer flights to 65 non-stop destinations with an average of 1,100 flights per week from YYC. Last month, WestJet announced its launching its first three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner international destinations from Calgary in 2019 including; London (Gatwick), Paris and Dublin.
WestJet’s Dreamliners carry 320 guests in a three-class cabin configuration including the airline’s newly revealed Business cabin featuring 16 private pods with lie-flat seats, an upscale Premium cabin and an updated Economy cabin.