Air Canada waves goodbye to its very first Airbus A320 C-FDQQ

Elena Berd

In January 1990, Air Canada (ADH2) welcomed its very first Airbus A320. Now, thirty years later, the airliner (registration number C-FDQQ), which reached the Canadian carrier by chance, embarked on its last flight from Montreal to a storage facility in Marana.

Having completed one last passenger flight on behalf of Air Canada (ADH2) , domestic flight AC426 from Toronto (YYZ) to Montreal (YUL) in Canada, on March 31, the A320-200 aircraft embarked on its last journey, flight AC2335 from Montreal (YUL) to a storage facility in Marana Pinal Airpark (MZJ) in the United States on April 6, 2020.

The airliner, Manufacturer Serial Number (MSN) 59, began its operational history by completing its maiden flight in October 1989, before being delivered to Air Canada (ADH2) in January 1990. 

However, it was only by chance that the aircraft settled in Air Canada’s (ADH2) fleet, as it was originally destined for Australian Ansett ‒ a major airline group in Australia. After the latter cancelled the order, the plane went to its current operator via lease from GECAS. 

While the airliner was never involved in a serious accident, it did suffer four incidents within the last decade (and at least one in 2009). From 2012 to 2017, it endured problems ranging from ghost moves (due to suspected faulty proximity sensor), to loss of cabin pressure and, most recently, a hydraulic failure. 

Besides the C-FDQQ, Air Canada (ADH2) received two more A320s (C-FDSN, C-FDST) in 1990, and deliveries of the type continued until 2000. To date, the carrier has 36 jets of the type remaining in its fleet (12 of them currently parked), the average age of which are over 26 years old. 

Prior to the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis, the Canadian carrier was planning to retire a portion of its oldest -200s by the end of 2020. Replacement aircraft included Airbus A220-300 (for which it has an order of 45) and Boeing 737 MAX planes (of the order for 36 MAXs, 24 have already been delivered and grounded since March 2019).

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