In 1968 Canadian Pacific became CP Air when its owner, the Canadian Pacific Railway, decided to align all its brands. Each of Canadian Pacific's divisions (CP Rail, CP Transport, CP Express, CP Ships, CP Telecommunications, CP Hotels and CP Air) gained a linked branding using the new Multi-mark arrow logo. The arrow depicted motion, the semi-circle global service and the square stability. Each division gained a dominant colour with CP Air getting Orange. This led to the advertising firm 'Lippincott & Margulies' who were responsible for the makeover coming up with the slogan "Orange is beautiful". The new livery first appeared on new 737-200s in October 1968.
In 1973 the first widebodies arrived in the form of four 747-200s of which C-FCRA ‘Empress of Asia’, later ‘Empress of Japan’, was the first. They provided much increased capacity on the Pacific and Latin American routes and were joined in 1977 by DC-10s. In 1986 an unusual aircraft exchange was undertaken with PIA whereby the Pakistani airline swapped its DC-10s for CP Airs 747s. The exchange occurred at Amsterdam and RA became AP-BCN in PIA service. She operated for PIA until at least 2000 when she was stored at Karachi and subsequently broken up.
The DC-10 was a natural fit for CP Air enabling replacement of their DC-8 fleet for long-range medium capacity routes. The first arrived in 1979 and four (GCPC-PF) were on strength by September 1980. PG ‘Empress of Fiji’ was delivered the next year and followed by PH and PI. An eighth aircraft (PJ) arrived in 1982 second hand from SIA. In 1983 CP Air cross-leased three of its series 30s for three of United’s series 10s and this arrangement lasted until mid 1987. PG was one of the trio that went to the USA and whilst she was away CP Air swapped 4 of its 747s for 4 DC-10s giving it a 12 strong trijet fleet. PG was withdrawn by the then Canadian Airlines in 2000 with a total time of 79,670 hours and 13,178 landings. She was broken up in 2005 at Marana.
The economic downturn of the early 80s was a difficult time for Canada's air carriers and deregulation of the Canadian marketplace appeared increasingly likely. These changes would have a major impact on CP Air and we'll investigate that in the next part of our Canadian Pacific story.
Don't forget to see Part 1 of this story.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: