Air Canada starts offering live TV on board

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Air Canada has launched live TV on board certain aircraft in its fleet and on domestic routes.

The carrier says it is the only Canadian carrier to offer customers the ability to cheer on their favourite sports teams by watching global sporting events in real time or watch live national news on board a flight.

John Moody, Senior Director – Product Design, at Air Canada said: “We are thrilled to launch live TV as the newest addition to our unparalleled onboard entertainment. Customers will be able to enjoy content from great Canadian channels in both English and French.

“Sports fans flying with us can enjoy the exhilaration of watching regular season, playoff and championship games in real time, while business news junkies will appreciate remaining connected to market trends and current events, right from their seat. As we continue elevating the customer experience, we look forward to expanding live TV to more flights, and bring even more leading content and features in 2023.”

According to Air Canada, live TV is now available on its domestic routes from coast to coast operated with a live TV-enabled aircraft – 40 Boeing 777s, Boeing 787s, Airbus A330s and Airbus A220s. Air Canada expects 50% of domestic flights operated by mainline aircraft to offer Air Live TV by the second of quarter 2023. The live TV is delivered through a satellite-connected, in-flight entertainment solution.

Live TV programming on Air Canada flights features:

  • TSN, TSN 2 and RDS delivering comprehensive live sports coverage for marquee sports events including soccer, hockey, basketball, football, baseball, golf, professional motor racing, and more
  • CTV News Channel delivering breaking news from communities across Canada and around the world as the country’s 24-hour all-news network
  • LCN, Quebec’s all-news station delivering news and rich programming from morning to night
  • BNN Bloomberg as Canada’s definitive source for business news, delivering breaking finance updates and live market coverage.
Air Canada Acqua di Parma amenity kits

Air Canada Signature Class to feature amenity kits by Acqua di Parma

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Air Canada Acqua di Parma amenity kits

Air Canada has announced that, from this month, Air Canada Signature Class customers on all international flights will receive an elegant amenity kit from Acqua di Parma.

Designed to be functional and reusable amenity travel bags, the kits have elongated-shaped travel cases in Acqua di Parma’s signature yellow colour. Each kit contains luxury Acqua Di Parma bath and body products including Colonia hand cream and lip balm, an oversized eye mask, socks, dental kit, glasses cloth and 3M earplugs. The partnership between the carrier and Acqua di Parma was created by Buzz.

Guests in International Premium Economy and North America Signature Class overnight flights will also receive upgraded kits which will be provided in a functional, reusable amenity tote bag and contain an eye mask, socks and dental products. The black tote bag is made using 100% recycled material and is a useful post-flight accessory for packing personal items, shoes or shopping.

The new line of amenity kits and totes have been purposefully designed to significantly minimize single-use plastics including the elimination of plastic wrap.

“We’re delighted to present Acqua di Parma’s iconic, sophisticated and refined items to our global customers as part of Air Canada Signature Class, our end-to-end premium travel experience featuring exclusive products and services,” said Jacqueline Harkness, Senior Director – Product, at Air Canada.

Enrico Sorenti, Acqua di Parma International Sales Director said: “We are delighted to partner with a world-leading airline like Air Canada, renowned for their premium service and inflight experience. This is a collaboration of value that allows us to bring Italian warmth and refined lifestyle all over the world.”

Air Canada

Air Canada updates customer experience on board

By Amenities, Catering, Featured, IFECNo Comments
Air Canada

Air Canada has announced a comprehensive range of new product improvements to elevate the customer experience from upgraded Economy dining, more in-flight entertainment and connectivity options to enriched Premium offerings.

“Air Canada is committed to elevating the customer experience and offering the kind of world-class services Canadians can be proud of from their flag carrier. Accordingly, we are investing in all aspects of the journey to make travel even better for customers, including in our Economy and Premium cabins. Today’s announcements go beyond emerging from the pandemic; we’re proud to introduce many new services and options not available today in Canada,” said Mark Nasr, Senior Vice President, Products, Marketing and eCommerce at Air Canada.

“Among the improvements customers will see starting in November are new dining services in International Economy Class featuring the addition of regional appetizess and an entree created by acclaimed Montreal Chef Jérôme Ferrer on flights departing Canada and fresh Air Canada Bistro options on North American flights. Premium cabin customers will also find new amenities, such as Acqua di Parma amenity kits and complimentary Wi-Fi in Premium Rouge. What’s more, we’ll begin introducing additional in-flight entertainment content, including Live TV, so customers can watch sports events or stay on top of the news while in the air.”

From 1 November, Air Canada becomes the first Canadian airline to begin offering complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi on flights. Customers flying in Premium Rouge can stream their own entertainment, TV shows and movies, listen to their own music or simply remain connected.

From 2023, the carrier will expand its onboard entertainment content by more than 25%, introducing options such as Live TV to enable customers to watch sports events and news live. The carrier says it will release more details on the Live TV as well as additional new features such as Bluetooth audio connectivity and an outside camera feature soon.

Air Canada will be elevating its International Economy Class dining experience from November to reflect Canada’s culinary talent and tastes from our global network of destinations. Economy Class dining on all international flights departing Canada is being revamped to feature a hot entree created for Air Canada by renowned Montreal Chef Jérôme Ferrer, a member of Air Canada’s culinary panel. An appetizer reflecting destination cuisine is also being presented with all meals, and a separate dessert service will follow.

North America Economy Class Dining
In Economy Class on North America and Sun destination flights, the Air Canada Bistro menu will be refreshed and expanded to include a brioche bagel smoked salmon sandwich, vegan options such as Farro Salad or Spiced chickpea wrap, Canadian snacks such as Good To Go Blondies and Nomz energy bites, in addition to choices such as Montreal smoke meat sandwiches and fruit & cheese board.

Premium Cabin services and amenities
Air Canada is fully restoring its premium cabin services from November for both pre-departure and in-flight, offering to hang coats and jackets and providing pre-departure beverages on international flights and hot towels prior to meal services.

Air Canada is also introducing new amenity kits to premium cabin customers. The carrier says the new line of amenity kits and totes have been purposefully designed to significantly minimise single-use plastics including the elimination of plastic wrap.

Air Canada Signature Class customers on all international flights will be given Acqua di Parma amenity kits featuring stylish amenity bags containing Acqua di Parma luxury skincare products and an oversized eye mask, socks, dental products and 3M earplugs.

Customers in International Premium Economy and North America Signature Class overnight flights will receive reusable amenity totes containing an eye mask, socks and dental products.

Air Canada route map app

Air Canada launches WhereWeFly interactive route map

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Air Canada route map app

Air Canada has launched a new ‘WhereWeFly’ interactive route map on its Panasonic seatback IFE and Thales Wireless Portal.

The map, which uses FlightPath3D moving map technology, allows passengers to explore routes and view flights. “We are excited to be the launch airline for WhereWeFly. It’s a beautifully organised in-flight experience where passengers can instantly visualise our routes and flight schedule,” said Air Canada’s Norman Haughton, Director, Inflight Digital Entertainment, Wi-Fi, Media Sales and Analytics.

WhereWeFly provides passengers with a map and searchable directory of every Air Canada route and destination. Air Canada’s hubs are also instantly showcased in one click, presenting all routes from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Passengers can plan their next trip right inside the in-flight entertainment map, as at-a-glance flight details allow for swift browsing of dates and specific flights in a calendar view with flight times and aircraft details.

“Air Canada’s routes and network are one of its most valuable, yet complicated assets,” commented Duncan Jackson, President of FlightPath3D. “We’re delighted to have created a groundbreaking new way to present destination and flight options to improve passenger loyalty and drive demand.”

Air Canada carries more than 100,000 passengers in one day

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Air Canada has announced that the carrier has flown more than 100,000 customers in a single day for the first time since early in the pandemic as passengers continue returning to air travel.

Air Canada says the last time it carried more than 100,000 customers in one day was in March 2020. Passenger loads fell as low as to 2,175 during the pandemic as global air traffic ground to a virtual halt. Before the pandemic, Air Canada carried, on average, nearly 150,000 people daily in 2019 and its single-day passenger load record was 187,000 customers on 16 August 2019.

“We were very pleased to have had 100,701 customers board our planes on 15 April 2022, as travellers steadily return. Clearly there is a pent-up demand for travel that is matched only by our enthusiasm to welcome back our customers.

“It is also significant that we passed this milestone smoothly, indicating Air Canada has recovered operationally from COVID-19’s effects and is prepared to safely and conveniently transport customers during the busy summer ahead,” said Kevin O’Connor, Vice President of Air Canada’s Systems Operations Control, which manages the airline’s daily operation.

Newrest is using cobots in its inflight catering facilities

Newrest continues commitment to in-flight catering

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Newrest is using cobots in its inflight catering facilities

Newrest Toronto has begun providing in-flight catering services on board Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi.

Due to the pandemic, the mobilisation and launching phases were carried out by daily exchanges with the Abu Dhabi-based chefs, equipment managers and ground operations.

Newrest Canada operates solely in the in-flight activity with four catering production units in Montreal, Toronto and Calgary. In Montreal, there are two catering production units, one for international airlines, the other for the Air Canada Hub.

Elsewhere, Newrest has begun the construction on a brand-new production unit in Israel.

The 10,000 square meter in-flight catering kitchen close to the Ben Gurion Airport of Tel-Aviv, will be operational within 20 months.

Advanced solutions will be implemented throughout the unit such as cobot assisted assembly lines, greener washing area and cleaning system as well as a digitised workflow.

Newrest spent three years researching the use of collaborative robots (cobots) to improve the productivity of its in-flight units.

The initial step was the creation of the universal robotic hand, which can grip any type of object in any type of container.

Staff work hand in hand with the cobots in a fully integrated process. The operator sets the pace, and the machine relieves him of having to do low added value tasks. This occurs from the portioning stage onwards.

The latest cobots are equipped with the latest technologies including robotic garnishing lines, technological assistance with the assembly of trolleys, preparation and dispatch of flights, automated washing up of dishes and trays, automated sorting of cutlery and automatic bagging machines.

Air Canada Jetz all business-class interior

Air Canada opens up Jetz aircraft fleet to limited commercial service

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Air Canada Jetz all business-class interior

From 21 October, Air Canada has opened up commercial bookings on its fleet of all-Business Class, Jetz charter aircraft.

Each of the airline’s four Airbus A319 Jetz aircraft are configured with only 58 North American Business Class seats and will be redeployed on popular winter routes.

“Air Canada is very pleased to offer its customers a unique opportunity to travel like a pro athlete or a VIP and experience our premium Jetz service. Customers booking on a Jetz flight will enjoy such amenities as its all-Business Class seating configuration, upgraded meal service, and shorter boarding and deplaning times. These features, combined with Jetz’s other attributes, create a private-jet-like experience,” said Mark Galardo, Vice President of Network Planning and Alliances at Air Canada.

Jetz aircraft typically transport customers such as professional sports teams, popular musical groups on tour, and corporate clients on a charter basis. With the current pandemic restrictions on sports events and other large gatherings, the aircraft are now available for commercial use.

When flying with Air Canada Jetz, customers will travel in a single cabin with 58 North American Business Class seats offering 42-to-49-inch seat pitch, including four facing seats with a table in the middle that can be booked for families and friends travelling together, and complimentary iPads for entertainment. Customers will also be offered a premium, pre-packaged meal curated by celebrated Montreal chef Antonio Park with complimentary bar and beverage service.

All flights will be operated in accordance with Air Canada’s biosafety protocols, centred around the Air Canada CleanCare+ program.

Air Canada to introduce its own COVID-19 tests?

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Air Canada has stated that it wants to operate its own voluntary COVID-19 testing programme to encourage the reductions currently in place at its borders. The airline intends to set up testing stations for arriving passengers. They are seeking to use these tests to encourage Canada’s Government to relax its ban on selected international arrivals.

At present Canada is barring entry at its borders to all but essential travellers and Canadian citizens. Those selected to enter must then self isolate for 14-days, but these restrictions are having a major impact on the airline.

Air Canada’s CEO, Calin Rovinescu, called it an impossible operating environment.

“Canada’s federal and inter-provincial restrictions have been among the most severe in the world, effectively shutting down most commercial aviation in our country,” he said in a statement obtained by a media outlet.

But the Canadian Government is showing little interest in relaxing its border restrictions. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he will continue to do what needs to be done to keep people safe. But Air Canada wants a smarter, more science-based approach to border restrictions in order to survive and guarantee its future.

Chef Jérôme Ferrer joins Air Canada Culinary Panel as onboard cuisine reintroduced

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Air Canada is partnering with Montreal-based Chef Jérôme Ferrer, who will design meals for the airline’s Premium Economy and Economy Class customers on all flights departing Canada for Europe and Asia, as well as Australia and South America once these flights resume.

Chef Ferrer joins fellow Canadian Chefs David Hawksworth, Antonio Park and Vikram Vij, whose meals will be offered as more Air Canada flights resume.

Andrew Yiu, Vice-President – Product at Air Canada commented: “Chef Ferrer is known for his sustainable, imaginative, global yet Canadian approach to food, and he becomes the fourth member of Air Canada’s panel of distinguished Canadian culinary talent. We look forward to presenting his unique, innovative creations to customers travelling in Premium Economy and Economy Class on our international flights departing Canada. We are the first North American airline to partner with a celebrated chef to curate complimentary meals in Economy Class, affirming our ongoing commitment to customer service excellence and continuous investment in all of our products and services.”

For the first time, chef-designed meals by Chef Park will also be introduced in Business Class – North America:

Chef David Hawksworth’s Canadian-themed dishes will be showcased in Signature Class on flights to Europe and Israel, as well as to Australia when those flights resume.

Chef Antonio Park’s meals will be featured in Signature Class on flights to Asia and South America, once those flights resume, and in Signature Class and Business Class within North America.

Chef Jerome Ferrer’s meals will be presented in Premium Economy and Economy Class on international flights departing Canada.

Chef Vikram Vij’s creations will be featured on flights to India when those flights are able to resume.

Limited in-flight food options in Economy Class onboard North American flights greater than two hours will be re-introduced on a pre-order basis.

All meals onboard Air Canada’s flights will be presented in a custom paper box in accordance with current service protocols streamlining interactions. Air Canada is working closely with suppliers to ensure the most environmentally friendly packaging is used whenever possible. Customers will also be offered an expanded selection of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks adapted by cabin and route.

Menu details for all cabins and flights are available at aircanada.com and via the Air Canada App early August.

Air Canada offers entertainment for streaming at home

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Air Canada has made a broad selection of entertainment content free to members of Aeroplan, the Canadian coalition loyalty program owned by the airline.

The carrier is making over 200 titles, including films, shorts and other video from its Canadian partners, available for streaming at no charge until 22 July.

“With summer’s arrival, together with respected Canadian cultural partners, we are making a selection of acclaimed entertainment available at home through streaming to all Aeroplan members based in Canada. Through the great content we have curated for our customers, we are bringing summer celebrations to Canadians,” said Andrew Shibata, Managing Director of Brand at Air Canada.

Content includes classic films featuring the best of Canadian and cultural cinema, presented by Telefilm Canada, as well as content from Canadian cultural organisations, including among others the National Film Board of Canada, the imagineNATIVE film festival, Reel Asian film festival and Prends ça Court. In recognition of Pride Month, the carrier is also offering a wide variety of LGBTQ2+ content from OUTtv.