Aviation specialist Johnston Associates has been appointed as the
UK PR agency for Air Canada, the biggest carrier by volume between the
UK and Canada.
The hire follows the airline's decision to end ties with incumbent
Bacall Associates. It covers a round-the-clock press service and a fresh
PR strategy for the airline next year.
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
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.