Air Canada will take delivery of the first of a fleet of 37 Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft — which will include completely redesigned seating and cabin amenities — sometime in the spring of 2014; and will begin operating the aircraft for a limited introductory period on select flights from Toronto to destinations in Canada and Europe.
Due to its fuel efficiency, the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft fleet will potentially enable Air Canada to serve additional destinations worldwide, as more flights will be announced at a later date. Furthermore, delivery of 22 Boeing 787-9 “Dreamliner” aircraft — which have a longer range than the original Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft and whose first scheduled route was announced by Air New Zealand last month — is expected sometime in 2015. All Boeing 787 and 787-9 “Dreamliner” aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by 2019.
By July 2014, Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft service will be regularly available on flights between Toronto and Tel Aviv.
- International Business Class — formerly known as Executive First — will feature 20 lie-flat executive pods with an adjustable pneumatic cushion system, extending to 80-inches in length when in a fully-flat sleeping position. The cushioning will also feature a full-length massage function. With a 1-2-1 configuration, each seat will have direct aisle access. The personal entertainment screen, at 18-inches, will be the largest offered by a North American airline in Business Class. Espresso and cappuccino service — featuring freshly-brewed Lavazza coffee — will be available on all Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft services.
- Premium Economy will feature 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration — providing 38-inches of legroom — and will be equipped with an intuitive touch personal entertainment screen up to 11 inches in size; a Universal Serial Bus or USB outlet; and a universal power outlet.
- Economy will feature 210 slimline seats in a 3-3-3 configuration. Each seat is equipped with an intuitive touch personal entertainment screen up to nine inches in size, with a Universal Serial Bus or USB outlet and universal power outlet.
In addition to the name change from Executive First class to International Business Class, the Executive Class cabin will from now on be known as the Business Class cabin in order to streamline the names of the in-flight premium services offered by Air Canada.
Every Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft delivered will replace a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, which will be assigned to flights operated as Air Canada rouge.
FlyerTalk members have been rather critical of Air Canada this year pertaining to the migration of several fares from Flex to Tango; the supplemental payment for upgrades and other major changes; the introduction of Distinction; the loss of $260 million for the first quarter of 2013 which led to the potential trimming of $50 million in costs; and the timing of an announcement associated with the launch of Altitude — and although this announcement is no exception with regards to such concerns as a “sardine-class” economy class cabin of nine thin seats across with a seat pitch of 31 inches, they are generally reacting positively about it.