Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 360,327
2013: 330,818

Air Canada and the 787 Dreamliner: A New Chapter in Canadian Aviation

Air Canada's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner arriving to YYZ to a water cannon salute - Photo: Philip Debski

Air Canada’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner arriving to YYZ to a water cannon salute – Photo: Philip Debski

It’s no secret that Air Canada (AC) is excited to have the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in their fleet. I was excited that I got to participate in Air Canada’s welcoming event for their first 787 at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

Air Canada made an entire website focused solely on their new 787, where they show you the ins-and-outs of the 787 in general, in addition to their own touches they’ve made on the interior.

If you are a fan, you have probably seen the many photos and videos they’ve posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram showing the progress of their first bird, from the beginning, to flight testing, and ultimately delivery.

Captain Chuck Caran, a 28 year old veteran of AC, flew the historic delivery flight - Photo: Philip Debski

Captain Chuck Caran, a 28-year veteran of AC, flew the historic delivery flight – Photo: Philip Debski

From the two-day arrival and media events surrounding the plane, you can tell they’re proud of their new aircraft. From an operational standpoint, I can tell you AC has very high expectations for this plane.

Continue reading Air Canada and the 787 Dreamliner: A New Chapter in Canadian Aviation

Air Canada rouge Expands to Western Canada

Air Canada rouge's inaugural YVR-LAS Airbus A319 flight at the gate on a rainy Vancouver morning.

Air Canada rouge’s inaugural YVR-LAS Airbus A319 flight at the gate on a rainy Vancouver morning

You may have read the recent commentary and analysis by AirlineReporter’s Bernie Leighton, “You Get What You Pay For Rant: Why Economy Class Is What It Is.”  I certainly did. It seemed fitting, then, that just a couple of days later, I was invited to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) for Air Canada rouge‘s first Western Canada flight.

Air Canada rouge is an “airline within an airline”, and is part of the Air Canada Leisure Group along with inclusive-tour operator, Air Canada Vacations.  The airline is positioned as Air Canada’s “Leisure” carrier, intended to get passengers to their vacation destinations.  Air Canada rouge launched last July 1st with flights from Toronto (YYZ) and Montreal (YUL) to Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the U.S. In addition to specific vacation travel, Air Canada is hoping to make its unprofitable routes financially viable by a transfer to Air Canada rouge, which has lower operating costs. Bernie talked all about that, and CASMs and RASMs, in his rant.

By the end of 2014, Air Canada will have transferred 47 routes to rouge. Another seven routes new to the AC network will be operated exclusively by rouge. The just-announced Western Canada routes include YVR to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, and seasonal service to Anchorage.  From Calgary, flights will go to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

The Air Canada rouge fleet is made up of Airbus A319s and Boeing 767-300ERs, transferred from Air Canada’s mainline fleet. As of the end of April, there were 15 A319s and four 767s flying for the leisure carrier. Ultimately, rouge may have up to 30 A319s and 20 767s, with the 767s coming into the fleet as Air Canada receives its new 787 Dreamliners. Continue reading Air Canada rouge Expands to Western Canada

Epic AvGeek Photo: Air Canada’s First Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

C-GHPQ, Air Canada's first 787-8 on the ramp at KPAE. Photo - Bernie Leighton

C-GHPQ, Air Canada’s first 787-8 on the ramp at KPAE. Photo – Bernie Leighton

I was up over PAE this morning, going hunting. Look at this wonderful new aircraft for Air Canada. Best looking 787 yet in my opinion.

The Montreal-based airline should be taking delivery of this frame some time next month. 

 

2014 – YVR’s Year of the Dreamliner

HI RES IMAGE (click for larger). JAL's Boeing 787 Dreamliner taking off at Paine Field. Photo by Boeing.

HI RES IMAGE (click for larger). JAL’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner taking off at Paine Field – Photo: Boeing

Last week, Japan Airlines announced that it will begin Boeing 787 service to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on Monday, February 3, 2014. This will be the first scheduled arrival of a Dreamliner at YVR.

The JAL 787-8 will serve the YVR to Tokyo Narita (NRT) route, and will initially fly once per week on Mondays. Daily service will be in place by March.

We expect to see additional Dreamliner service at YVR this year, most noteably with Air Canada’s introduction of their 787-8 later in the spring. AC’s first of their 37-aircraft order, LN160, is to be registered as C-GHPQ and is currently in Position 2 of the Final Assembly Line at Boeing Everett.

BREAKING: Air Canada Orders up to 109 737 MAX Aircraft

The Boeing 737 MAX 8. Image: Boeing.

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 – Image: Boeing

Today, Air Canada, in a surprising move, has decided to replace their current Airbus narrowbody fleet with the offering from the competition – the Boeing 737 MAX.

They have ordered a total of 61 of the aircraft, with 33 going to the MAX 8 and 23 to the larger MAX 9.  The “up to 109″ part of the transaction comes from 30 purchase rights and 18 options. At list prices, the firm orders would be a transaction of over six billion dollars, but you better believe that the airline made a stellar deal for the planes.

“We are pleased to announce our agreement with Boeing for the purchase of 737 MAX aircraft as part of the ongoing modernization of Air Canada’s fleet,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada. “Renewal of our North American narrowbody fleet with more fuel efficient aircraft is a key element of our ongoing cost transformation program and the enhanced passenger cabin comfort provided by the Boeing MAX will help us to retain Air Canada’s competitive position as the Best Airline in North America. Our narrowbody fleet renewal program is expected to yield significant cost savings. We have estimated that the projected fuel burn and maintenance cost savings on a per seat basis of greater than 20 per cent will generate an estimated CASM reduction of approximately 10 per cent as compared to our existing narrowbody fleet.”

By 2019, Air Canada plans to have an all Boeing long-haul fleet, and a majority Boeing short-to-medium haul fleet. Currently, the airline operates a fleet of 27 Airbus A319s, 36 A320s and 10 A321s.

Continue reading BREAKING: Air Canada Orders up to 109 737 MAX Aircraft