Air Canada Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner – love that wing! - Image: Air Canada
Air Canada has just released details of a new cabin design for their soon-to-be-received Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The first three aircraft will be delivered to Air Canada in the spring of 2014. The first AC routes to receive the 787 will start on July 1, 2014 from Toronto (YYZ) to Tel Aviv (TLV), and a new Air Canada route from YYZ to Tokyo-Haneda (HND). The Dreamliners will also fly on select domestic Canada and international flights on a “preview” basis as they come into the fleet, which we’ve seen with other new 787 operators.
Not unlike AC’s new 777-300s, the Dreamliners will have three cabins – International Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy. The 787-8s will have a total of 251 seats (comparable to LOT Polish’s 787s, seating 252, which we featured earlier this year). Air Canada describes the 787′s cabin color palette of slate grey and neutral tones, accented with “Canadian red” and “celeste blue”, as being contemporary and sophisticated.
BONUS – Air Canada’s 787 Seating Chart
The 787′s Business Class isn’t like J-class in the new 777 or older AC planes. The new 787-8 configuration is a “reverse herringbone”, with four-across seating in a 1-2-1 setup, for a total of 20 lie-flat seats. AC’s older wide-bodies have a “herringbone” Business Class, where the seats face towards the aisle. Instead, the outer pods in the 787 will face the windows, and be angled towards each other in the middle of the cabin. I’m looking forward to seeing this setup; it isn’t easy to look out the window in the current J-class, and it’s challenging to chat with a partner when you’re both in the opposite-facing middle seats. The 787′s window seats might be a bit quieter, too, because your head won’t be up against the outer wall of the fuselage.
Continue reading Air Canada’s 787 – Route & Cabin Details Announced
Mr. Robert Deluce, Porter Airlines President & CEO (center) with his team
after CSeries Flight Test Vehicle 1′s (FTV1) first flight on September 16, 2013.
It’s been over six months since Porter Airlines announced their conditional order to buy up to 30 Bombardier CS100s. In order to finalize the order, Porter needs permission from the City of Toronto to operate the CS100s at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ), and has asked for extensions to be added to both ends of the main runway at the waterfront airport. Currently, jets are not allowed to operate from YTZ, and Porter flies Bombardier Q400 turboprops from their YTZ base.
BONUS: Review- Flying Porter Airlines From Toronto to Montreal and Back
On Thursday morning, Toronto’s Deputy City Manager filed a report that analyzed Porter’s requests. Simply, it says that granting approval is premature. Among issues cited, there isn’t yet enough noise or operational performance data on the CS100; runway extension impact and noise modelling has not been completed; and there isn’t a clear direction or plan for YTZ’s expansion, and how it will be funded is in question.
In addition, the agreement banning jets at YTZ expires in 2033, and the report says that the impact of Porter’s request should be considered before this no-jet-noise agreement is extended. Overall, the report recommends that research continue, and that a new report be filed in March 2015. Thursday’s report will be considered by the City’s Executive Committee on December 5th, and depending on the outcome, by the full Council on December 16th.
Continue reading Porter Airlines, Bombardier CSeries & YTZ – an Update
What viewers of The WestJet Channel might be watching – the ramp crew waves goodbye to a
departing WJ 737-700 at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport. (YOW)
Earlier this month, WestJet Airlines launched a new way to connect with prospective customers, reaching TV viewers in the Canadian provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland.
The WestJet Channel is now available to approximately 2.2 million subscribers on Rogers Cable Channel 206. The 24/7 content includes video of WestJet’s vacation destinations, including Grand Cayman, Bermuda, Puerto Plata, Holguin, and St. Martin-St. Maarten. I wonder – will they have shots from Maho Beach of their 737s landing at SXM?
Tied in to the channel’s 13-week run, viewers will be able to enter three Twitter contests (#TweetTheBeach) for a chance to win a trip for two with WestJet. For Canadian AvGeeks, The WestJet Channel also includes coverage of the airline’s ramp operations.
There wasn’t a note in WJs press release to suggest that the ramp ops would be live, but we can hope. Watching ops at YYZ or YYC on a wintery January afternoon might be a perfect way to zone out in front of the TV for a couple of hours.
Continue reading The Westjet Channel – a New Spin on Airline Marketing
Westjet Encore Bombardier Q400 C-FENY at North Peace Regional Airport (YXJ) in Ft. St. John BC, under a beautiful blue sky. Photo: Howard Slutsken | AirlineReporter.com
This was going to be a great day for AirlineReporter.com’s Canadian “Senior Contributor.” That would be me!
I was flying with a new Canadian airline in a brand new Canadian-built plane, traveling from a major Canadian airport over some stunning Canadian landscape, and visiting the headquarters of one of “Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures,” which happens to be a major Canadian airline. The Flight Attendants might have made it even more Canadian by greeting me at the plane’s door with a Timmy’s “Double-Double” and a hockey stick. That didn’t happen.
Translation? I’m flying with Westjet Encore on a Bombardier Q400 from Vancouver (YVR) over the Canadian Coast Range and Rocky Mountains, and visiting Westjet’s base in Calgary (YYC). I’ll leave it to you to find out about Timmy’s.
Westjet Encore began flying in late June with two 78-seat Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprops. Since then, five of their initial order of 20 Q400s have been delivered, and they have options on another 25 planes. Westjet Encore augments Westjet’s Boeing 737-based route structure with regional flights of distances up to 700 miles. That’s about a two hour flight time for the Q400, but most destinations are 60 to 90 minutes apart. Having the Q400 in the fleet will give Westjet the flexibility to fly to new destinations, add additional frequencies to current destinations, or “right size” the service throughout their network by swapping 737s with Q400s. The Q400s are pretty quick, with flight times within 10-20 minutes of a 737 over these short distances.
The first destinations included Nanaimo, BC in the west, and as far east as Saskatoon, SK. As more planes come into the fleet, Encore is adding destinations and continuing their expansion eastwards. Encore brought Westjet service back to Brandon, MB in September, a destination that previously couldn’t support WJ 737 service. This YYC-YBR flight is currently Encore’s longest, at a bit under 2 hours. In addition to adding direct regional flights to the Westjet schedule, Encore will look to keep travellers “in the family” by providing connections to mainline WJ flights, and those operated by codeshare partners. Encore is also part of the “Westjet Rewards” frequent-flier program, and shares facilities with WJ at common destinations.
Continue reading In-Flight Review of Westjet Encore: On Board Their Newest Q400
Bombardier CSeries FTV1 touches down on Rwy 06 at YMX after a successful first flight. Photo: Bombardier Aero
Today, on a brisk Quebec fall morning, Bombardier’s CSeries Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1) took off for the first time at Mirabel Airport (YMX). I, along with
hundreds of three thousand Bombardier employees watched the takeoff at just before 10AM ET, and then we waited for FTV1 to return at 12:25 PM. Stands had been set up along the apron, with a somewhat distant view of the runway. Of course, there were airline VIPs watching, including executives from the airlines that have ordered the 177 CSeries planes on the books, and from airlines that Bombardier is trying to convince to order the CSeries.
FTV1′s first flight was 2 1/2 hours long, and was described as an “extremely, extremely successful test flight”, by Bombardier CSeries VP Robert Dewar. FTV1 Chief Test Pilot Chuck Ellis said “How did it fly? Like the predictions, like the sim(ulator).”
Continue reading PHOTOS: Bombardier CSeries Completes First Flight