Air Canada hires Johnston <BR>Associates for UK PR brief

LONDON - Aviation specialist Johnston Associates has been appointed as the UK PR agency for Air Canada, following the airline's decision to end ties with incumbent Bacall Associates.

It comes at a time when the North American aviation sector is consolidating -- the recent collapse of Canada 3000 followed just months after Air Canada swallowed up its main rival Canadian Airlines.



London-based Johnston Associates, headed by Kevin Johnston, has been awarded an ongoing contract with Air Canada.



Ruth Hornsby, formerly a consultant at Hancock Communications where she worked on the Hyatt Hotels and Resorts business, will manage the Air Canada account.



She will work to UK passenger sales manager Robert Atkinson and Air Canada director of corporate communications John Reber in Montreal.



The agency already has a high-fee PR contract with United Airlines which, together with Air Canada, is a founding partner of the Star Alliance global grouping of carrriers. Johnston also carries out project work for Star.



He has worked on the United account for more than three years and, prior to that, oversaw the PR efforts for the earlier stages of the Terminal 5 public inquiry at Heathrow.



"Those who communicate now with the media will reap the benefits in the long-term. Air Canada has a presence in the UK but there is work to be done to raise its profile further," Johnston said.



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