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From the "Canadian Pacific COMPASS" magazine issue 1981.

Canadian Pacific Air Lines began with 77 aircraft of many different kinds flying a tangled web of routes that made early operations difficult and was soon stretched to the limit. A year after its formation its airplanes flew 6.1 million miles with 9.5 million pounds of cargo.

Sir Edward Beatty offered quick delivery of vitally needed airplanes to Britain by air instead of the slower sea route. The British government was ready to accept. Punch Dickins, the World War I ace and pioneer bush pilot, played a leading role in setting up the air ferry service.

  • The "Empress of Sydney," a Canadair Four aircraft, made the first Canadian Pacific flight to Australia in July 1949.
  • In 1949 a Canadian Pacific plane was the last flown out of Shanghai before Communist forces closed China traffic for many years to come.
  • In 1947 train crews in Manitoba and Saskatchewan saw a different type of aircraft. Theirs was a mysterious unidentified flying object, bathed in blue light, which cruised by and suddenly disappeared.
  • The airline extended Canadian Pacific operations to countries where it had never been active before, such as Mexico, Peru, Chile and Argentina.
  • In 1955 the company began flights over the great circle route over the North Pole from Vancouver to Amsterdam. The great circle route is the shortest distance, on the circumference of the globe, from one point to another.
  • The first transcontinental flights made by the company were on May 4, 1959, between Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Authorization was for one flight per day each way.

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