The Canadian government is considering buying five second-hand aircraft from the country's troubled carriers to replace five A310-300s operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force (CFC, Winnipeg Int'l), public broadcaster CBC News has reported.

Ottawa has been contemplating replacing the five Airbus aircraft, designated in their military variant as CC-150 Polaris, for several years. Out of the quintet, one aircraft is currently used as a VIP transport, one as a strategic transport aircraft, and three as aerial refuelling tankers. They were inducted into service by the then Canadian Forces between 1987 and 1988.

Sources told CBC that the replacement aircraft could be procured from Air Canada (AC, Montréal Trudeau), as a form of state aid. However, discussions are still at an early stage.

"When the government decided a few weeks ago to help the airline sector, there was a situation where it became possible to address two issues at once, namely helping the airline industry at the same time as replacing an ageing and polluting fleet," a source said.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Air Canada's widebody fleet entails fifteen A330-300s, six B777-200(LR)s, nineteen B777-300(ER)s, eight B787-8s, and twenty-nine B787-9s while its Air Canada rouge (RV, Toronto Pearson) subsidiary operates twenty-one B767-300(ER)s.

Air Transat (TS, Montréal Trudeau) - which is planning to merge with Air Canada - operates twelve A330-200s and one -300. The only other operator of passenger widebodies in the country is WestJet (WS, Calgary), which has five B787-9s.