Celebrating New Year’s babies is a time-honoured tradition, and Air Canada is puffing its chest this month over its newest family member. Like proud parents, we are delighted by the arrival of our first Airbus A220 aircraft, and I was thrilled that our board chose my initials to register the plane C-GROV to mark my 10th anniversary as president and chief executive.
Every new aircraft type brings new possibilities. But the A220 holds special promise as its 137-seat capacity, combined with its long-range capability, give it operating economics to fly non-stop routes that previously were not viable. This includes recently announced routes launching next spring from Montréal to Seattle, and from Toronto to San Jose, California.
Customers will love this aircraft from the moment it enters service this month. A hybrid occupying a critical niche between a regional and regular narrow-body jet, it offers the spacious feel of and amenities more commonly found on larger aircraft. Among these features are a Business and Economy cabin, our new Inflight Entertainment System, mood lighting, outsize overhead bins and the widest economy seats in our fleet.
The A220’s new engines make it the quietest commercial jet in its class. Moreover, these highly fuel-efficient engines and the aircraft’s advanced, lightweight design materials mean it generates about 20 percent fewer CO₂ emissions per seat than similar aircraft. This will help us meet our environmental and sustainability goals. The A220’s lineage is also compelling. Conceived and developed by Canada’s Bombardier Inc. as the C-Series jet, Air Canada ordered 45 of these aircraft at a critical juncture in the program, securing its future as well as thousands of jobs in Canada’s aviation sector. And, while Europe’s Airbus SE has since taken majority ownership of the project, our A220 aircraft will be built in Canada at Mirabel, Québec.
The A220 is a rare bird indeed. It enables Air Canada to compete and expand efficiently, gives our customers more routing options and unrivalled comfort for an aircraft of its size, mitigates our environmental impact and supports Canadian jobs in a strategic economic sector. To learn more about the A220, please visit the media section of our website, aircanada.com.
Calin’s column appears every month in enRoute Magazine, Air Canada’s award-winning in-flight magazine found onboard all Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express flights. This edition is from the January 2020 issue.