MIAMI — On Wednesday, Air Canada launched a micro site dedicated to detailing their upcoming Boeing 787 service, including an updated interior and initial routes. The 787 will feature a three class set up – International Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy. The biggest changes to the Air Canada interior will be featured up front in Business Class.
In Business Class, the 787-8 will feature 20 lie-flat “Executive Pods” in a 1-2-1 configuration all with direct aisle access. When extended into the full lie-flat position, the seats will provide 80 inches legroom. Each seat features an 18 inch “enhanced definition” in-flight entertainment screen, which Air Canada claims is the largest of any North American carrier in business class. For those who wish to stay away for the entire flight (and maybe then some), Air Canada is also debuting a new espresso and cappuccino service for International Business Class customers featuring Lavazza coffee. Comparatively, Air Canada 767s currently feature 24-25 full-flat pods in a 1-1-1- configuration.
Premium Economy features 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration, providing 38-inch legroom and “generous” 19.5-inch seat width and 7-inch recline. The IFE screen will vary in size from 9 inch to 11 inch, presumably with the smaller screens in the bulkhead row where the screens may be stowed in the arm rest. Each seat comes with a power outlet and USB port to keep personal devices humming throughout the flight, but you won’t find WiFi on board. However, Premium Economy also features “premium meals”, complimentary bar service and priority check-in and baggage delivery at the airport, so the higher price tag includes more than just a few extra inches of legroom.
For the bulk of passengers, Economy Class includes 210 slimline seats in a 3-3-3 configuration, “providing personal space consistent with the comfort of Air Canada’s current Economy cabin.” This probably pegs the seat width at around 17 inches. Air Canada says that Economy Class seats have a USB outlet and a power outlet “available at arm’s reach,” which most likely means each set of seats may have one or two outlets shared between the three seats.
Air Canada will take delivery of their first of 15 787-8s in the spring of 2014, and will commence service on “select routes throughout Canada and Europe.” In July, the first dedicated 787 route will commence from Toronto to Tel Aviv, Israel, replacing the 767-300. Air Canada will also take delivery of 22 787-9 aircraft, and initial delivery is planned for July 2015. All 37 Boeing 787 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019.
Air Canada hopes that the 787 will be the key to unlocking new destinations. “The fuel efficient Boeing 787 aircraft will open up opportunities for Air Canada to serve new international destinations, and convert existing routes to Dreamliner service, as we continue to renew our fleet and develop Toronto Pearson into a preferred North American gateway and truly global airline hub,” said Ben Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer via press release.
Once delivered, Air Canada will become 3rd operator of 787 in North America, after Aeromexico and United.