The RCAF, which wrung more than 50 years of service from its T-33 and Sea King fleets (and will hit that with the CF-18) is also joining select company with its executive transport fleet. The military’s five CC-150 Polaris aircraft, based on the Airbus A310, will likely become the last of their type to carry passengers in the Western World. After Air Transat gets rid of the last of its A310s next year, only Iran, Afghanistan and perhaps Yemen (there’s one there but it might have been destroyed in the civil war) will be using them in passenger service.
The RCAF got its A310s by way of a bailout to Canadian Airlines in 1988, which had itself acquired them through its takeover of Wardair. The RCAF gets good use out of the planes, dubbed the Polaris, in a variety of roles. Two are equipped for aerial refuelling and two are configured for both freight and passengers. The fifth is reserved for carrying the prime minister, governor general and other high ranking officials plus the attendant media and staff. So far, the RCAF is happy with the aircraft and it’s not even on the list for future replacement.