Praxair announced that its subsidiary Praxair Distribution, a division of Praxair Canada, has signed a long-term agreement with Air Canada, Canada’s largest national airline.

The industrial gas giant will exclusive supply the airline’s dry-ice slices for food preparation facilities at seven international airports in Canada.

More than two million pounds of individual dry-ice packets will be used to transport perishable food and beverages between flight-kitchen facilities and aircraft each year.

An initial pilot project to test Praxair’s product and supply system was successfully completed in Vancouver, British Columbia, in January 2005. Since then, the servicing of the remainder of the supply chain to Air Canada facilities at airports in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, has begun.

Janet Coffman, vice president of business development for Praxair Distribution, said: \\$quot;Praxair is the only company in Canada with dry ice capability and a reliable distribution network available from coast to coast. This contract with Air Canada solidifies our national sales and distribution programs and provides a very exciting opportunity to grow our business.\\$quot;