Air Canada has given passengers a sneak peak inside its long-anticipated Airbus A220-300. The Montreal-based carrier has opted for a two-class configuration for the new jet, which is due to enter revenue service in spring 2020. The aircraft will have a total of 137 seats: 12 in a 2-2 business class setup, and a further 125 in a 3-2 layout for economy travellers. Air Canada promises more personal space thanks to the “widest economy seats in the fleet”, and the largest overhead stowage bins for an aircraft of its size.
With the A220 set to undertake transcontinental routes, it is little surprise that the aircraft is kitted out with the airline’s latest in-flight entertainment system and onboard Wi-Fi. Every seat features a Panasonic eX1 unit with content available in up to 15 languages as well as USB A, USB C, and AC power.
The aircraft – previously known as the Bombardier CSeries – are built at Airbus Canada’s Mirabel facility, just a few miles from Air Canada’s head office. Each A220-300 includes parts from 30 Canadian suppliers, helping boost the jet’s local credentials.
Mark Galardo, the airline’s vice president of network planning remarked: “This aircraft is a game changer for Air Canada as there is simply no rival in this category. The A220 will further strengthen our position on transborder and transcontinental markets and be instrumental in our continued growth.”
For Galardo, the new jet presents an opportunity to improve the passenger experience when flying on multi-stop itineraries: “When connecting through our hubs across Canada onward to international destinations, customers travelling on an A220 will benefit from a virtually seamless cabin experience offering the same level of service and comforts as on a widebody aircraft.”
Air Canada is due to be the first North American carrier to operate the larger A220-300 variant, which has a range of 3,200 nautical miles (5,926km) and is fitted with Pratt & Whitney PW1500G geared turbofan engines. The jet will initially be deployed from Montreal and Toronto on existing Canadian and transborder routes such as to Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and New York/La Guardia.
The carrier has also revealed that non-stop Montreal-Seattle and Toronto/Pearson-San Jose/Norman Y Mineta services will be the first new routes to be operated by the type, with the network planning chief describing the pair as “the first of many future possibilities”. The latter – operating as Flights AC564/5 complements existing Air Canada rotations from the US Pacific city to Toronto and Vancouver. The new Californian route, taking on flight numbers AC765/6 will be the Canadian flag carrier’s second link to the Silicon Valley hub after Vancouver. Both new rotations are set to operate on a daily, year-round basis from May 4, 2020.