Air Canada learns that hockey trumps flying

Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:32pm EST
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VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Canada's largest airline has learned it sometimes has to take a back seat to the country's biggest sporting passion, ice hockey, the head of Air Canada said on Tuesday.

The airline was forced to delay a flight from Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games because passengers watching the end of gold medal final on airport televisions ignored repeated calls to board.

"We incurred a flight delay for a reason Air Canada had not yet encountered in over 72 years of existence," chief executive Calin Rovinescu told a business gathering.

The Canadian fans were rewarded for their delay, as the nail-biting end to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics saw Canada beat arch-rival United States 3-2 in overtime.

(Reporting by Nicole Mordant; editing by Andre Grenon)

<p>Canada's Sidney Crosby celebrates after scoring the game winning goal against the U.S. during overtime in their men's ice hockey gold medal game at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics February 28, 2010. REUTERS/Todd Korol</p>