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.

Air Canada transforms cabins to carry cargo

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Air Canada is reconfiguring passenger cabins on three of its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to transport cargo, including critical medical supplies.

The first aircraft conversion is already complete and is now in service, with the second and third aircraft to be completed shortly.

“Bringing critical medical and other vital supplies rapidly to Canada and helping distribute them across the country is imperative to combating the COVID-19 crisis,” said Tim Strauss, Vice President of Cargo at Air Canada.

Highlighting that the reconfigured aircraft can carry 89.63 tonnes, the equivalent of up to 9 million medical masks, Strauss added: “The transformation of the Boieng 777-300ERs, our largest international wide-body aircraft, doubles the capacity of each flight and will enable more goods to move more quickly.”

Aircraft maintenance and cabin integration specialist, Avianor, has been tasked with converting the three Boeing aircraft. The Montreal-Mirabel based company has developed a specific engineering solution to remove 422 passenger seats and designate cargo loading zones for light weight boxes containing medical equipment which are restrained with cargo nets.

Referencing how this process was developed, produced and implemented within six days, Richard Steer, SVP Air Canada Operations, said: “The rapid transformation of our aircraft to meet cargo demand reflects our ability to maximise our fleet assets quickly when these aircraft would otherwise be parked. Air Canada’s engineering team worked around the clock to oversee the conversion work, and with Transport Canada to ensure all work was certified as tasks were completed.”

The Canadian carrier has been using aircraft that would otherwise be parked to operate cargo-only flights, moving in their baggage holds time-sensitive shipments, including urgent medical supplies and goods to support the global economy.

Since 22 March the airline has operated 40 all-cargo flights and now plans to increase this up to 20 all-cargo flights per week using a combination of its newly converted Boeing 777s, Boeing 787s and Boeing 777s, in addition to current scheduled flights to London, Paris, Frankfurt and Hong Kong.