Canadian Airlines International Ltd., which was the principal subsidiary of Canadian Airlines Corporation (formerly PWA Corporation), is the descendant of five predecessor airlines. On March 27 1987, Canadian Pacific Air Lines, Eastern Provincial Airways, Nordair and Pacific Western Airlines amalgamated to form the new airline.
PWA Corporation acquired Wardair in 1989, establishing Canadian as an important player in the global industry with the addition of new routes.
Canadian Airlines streamlined its operations and went through the financial restructuring of over $700 million in debt, after the 1991 airline industry slump.
On November 1 1996, Kevin Benson, then president and CEO, unveiled a restructuring strategy to improve the profitability of Canadian Airlines. The operational restructuring plan was supposed to be phased in over a four year period, addressing the main issues of cost control, revenue growth, capitalization and fleet renewal.
With continued poor performance, Canadian Airlines was eventually acquired by Air Canada in 2000, after numerous proposals for survival.