CP Air through the 1970s and 80s

Vancouver-based CP Air was founded in 1942 as Canadian Pacific Air Lines as a division of the Canadian Pacific transportation empire (which included railroads, steamships, and hotels). Along with linking major cities in Canada, CP Air flew Great Circle polar route flights to Amsterdam and the Far East, as well as long runs down to Latin America and Australia. Their fleet at first consisted of four-engined Douglas propliners, then Canadair and Bristol Britannia turboprops, before entering the Jet Age with DC-8s.

Up and close with CP Air Douglas DC-10-30 Empress Of Buenos Aires at Edmonton International airport Dec 1983 -- Michael Prophet.com

Fabio De Marco CP Air 747-200 1986 - De Marco Romano
CP Air Class of April 1972 (Mexico City Base) -- Christine Kent Mexico City was an important stop on CP Air's flights between Canada and the rest of Latin America - Stephan J. Cox
Graduation photo for CP Air Flight Attendant class 1976 -- John Gilchrist
CP Air - Roger Collins, Dave Stockley,Ed Scromeda, Jim Melidones and Shirley Joe (1969) Pic & Info courtesy of Marlie Kelsey & Roger Collins

Government regulations originally limited CP Air practically to where TCA/Air Canada couldn’t or didn’t want to fly to, while locking them out of lucrative destinations such as London and Paris and limiting domestic operations to the major cities. CP made up for this by developing a network across the Pacific Ocean to Asia and Oceania, which would become the carrier’s bread and butter. Once the restrictions were lifted in 1979, CP Air underwent a rapid expansion across it’s network and fleet to compete directly with Air Canada, assuming $1 billion (Canadian) in debt in the process.

These factors, along with an economic downturn in Asia, played against the airline’s fortunes until 1987, when Pacific Western Airlines bought them out for $300 million. The merger transformed CP Air into Canadi>n Airlines International, who themselves would merged into arch-rival Air Canada 13 years later – Stephan J. Cox

CP Air's Empress Class, circa 1980
B727 Interior
check-in counters at YVR

Tom Tentzerakis - CP Air
A Rolls Royce Powered DC-8. CP Air had several. These were early versions of the DC 8 airframe. They were very loud on take off. I flew in one from Vancouver to Toronto Dec 28, 1978. Diverted to Montreal due to weather. Finally got to Toronto the next day -- Mike Lobdell
CP Air Lav Sopas -- Rick Aero Collection

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