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Press release from CNW Group

Air Canada and IAMAW Proceed to Final Offer Arbitration

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Air Canada and IAMAW Proceed to Final Offer Arbitration11:51 EDT Tuesday, May 22, 2012MONTREAL, May 22, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada said today that the negotiation phase preceding the arbitration with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) has been completed. The IAMAW represents 8,600 mechanics, baggage handlers and cargo agents employed by Air Canada, and its collective agreement expired on March 31, 2011.While talks were constructive and progress was made in a number of areas, the parties will now proceed to prepare their final offers for the arbitrator, Mr. Michel Picher, to consider.The parties had agreed to a 10-day negotiation period in conjunction with the 90-day final offer arbitration process legislated by the federal government in the Protecting Air Service Act.   The negotiation phase preceding the arbitration with ACPA, the union representing the airline's pilots, has also been completed and the parties will proceed to prepare their final offers for the arbitrator, Mr. Douglas Stanley, to consider.Air Canada will have no further comments relating to either arbitration process until its conclusion.Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 180 destinations on five continents. Canada's flag carrier is the 15th largest commercial airline in the world and in 2011 served more than 33 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 60 Canadian cities, 57 destinations in the United States and 63 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America.  Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,290 destinations in 189 countries. In 2011, Air Canada was ranked Best International Airline in North America in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers conducted by independent research firm Skytrax.CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATIONAir Canada's public communications may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements, by their nature, are based on assumptions and are subject to important risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements cannot be relied upon due to, amongst other things, changing external events and general uncertainties of the business. Actual results may differ materially from results indicated in forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including without limitation, industry, market, credit and economic conditions, the ability to reduce operating costs and secure financing, pension issues, energy prices, employee and labour relations, currency exchange and interest rates, competition, war, terrorist acts, epidemic diseases, environmental factors (including weather systems and other natural phenomena and factors arising from man-made sources), insurance issues and costs, changes in demand due to the seasonal nature of the business, supply issues, changes in laws, regulatory developments or proceedings, pending and future litigation and actions by third parties as well as the factors identified throughout Air Canada's public disclosure file available at www.sedar.com. Any forward-looking statements contained in this news release represent Air Canada's expectations as of date of this news release and are subject to change after such date. However, Air Canada disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities regulations.For further information: Isabelle Arthur (Montréal)  514 422-5788 Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto)  416 263-5576 Angela Mah (Vancouver)  604 270-5741 Internet :  aircanada.com