Air Canada is marking Black History Month by featuring the achievements and contributions of its Black employees to aviation, including an inaugural, Black History celebratory flight. Flight AC914 from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale and return flight AC917 today, operated with a wide-body Airbus A330-300 aircraft, is being flown with a Black crew of two pilots and eight flight attendants. Air Canada's Black History celebratory flight was also planned and supported by Black managers and employees on the ground and behind the scenes.
"We salute and acknowledge the achievements and contributions of Air Canada's Black employees who brought forward their idea of operating today's Black History celebratory flight. We are very pleased to champion their identity, pride, and enthusiasm for this special, inaugural flight to commemorate Black History Month at our airline," said Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, executive vice president, chief human resources officer and public affairs.
"We are a global airline that transports customers across six continents, and our biggest strength is our people. Air Canada is widely recognized for its diversity, culture and inclusiveness, and we strive to create a workplace that employees feel proud to belong to by leaning in and listening, learning and working collaboratively to continually advance shared initiatives," concluded Meloul-Wechsler.
"We are so incredibly proud of today's inaugural Black History celebratory flight! Not only does this demonstrate Black representation in aviation, we also want qualified Black people to know they have a place in our industry and especially at Air Canada. We thank Air Canada for supporting this historic flight and for working together with Air Canada's Black employee community to further strengthen our airline's culture," said Yolanda Cornwall, customer service training specialist – Toronto and Claudine Martinell, Concierge and Premium Customer Excellence – USA, members of the Air Canada Black History Month Committee.
Air Canada has been named one of Canada's best Diversity Employers for multiple consecutive years. Its Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR) details the airline's diversity and community initiatives.
In its internal voluntary surveys, 387 Air Canada employees self-identified as Black, and work in leadership, management, specialized professional positions, and across all work groups including pilots, flight attendants, customer service agents, maintenance technicians and ground support crews.