AIR Canada has
become the latest North American carrier to file for bankruptcy protection in a
bid to safeguard its future.

The airline said
the hi-tech meltdown in 2000, the economic slowdown the following year and the
war in Iraq have contributed to its downturn.

The carrier joins
United Airlines in bankruptcy protection, while US Airways has emerged from
Chapter 11 after slashing costs and American Airlines is staving off a filing
by agreeing massive cost-cutting with staff.