By Charlotte Seet
Air Canada Announces Summer Flight Resumptions
After a relatively challenging and slightly positive year, Air Canada saw encouraging numbers in its latest financial results. In fact, the numbers were encouraging enough for the Canadian flag carrier to reverse its previous decision to cancel 12 ordered Airbus A220s — a decision that was made in November 2020 when the crunch of the pandemic was still relatively strong.
“We plan to add 12 more A220s to the fleet,” Air Canada Chief Financial Officer Amos Kazzaz said, in a press release. “These are the 12 aircraft that we had previously determined that we would not be purchasing.”
Currently, the airline already has 27 A220-300s in its fleet and has plans to eventually operate 45 of the aircraft type, as six of the 12 A220s are expected to be delivered in 2024, and the remaining half in 2025. Additionally, Air Canada will also be receiving its pending Boeing 737 MAX orders within the first half of this year, allowing for the airline’s fleet replacement to continue.
Transatlantic & Transpacific Operations
The fleet development will definitely come in handy for the Canadian flag carrier, as it announced an expansion of its North American network for Summer this year, another positive tell-tale sign that its recovery from the pandemic is only just accelerating. The expansion includes new services on both transborder and domestic routes, as well as the relaunching of past routes.
Starting from as early as this March, Air Canada will resume nonstop services from Toronto to Copenhagen, Denmark; Manchester, U.K.; Paris, Amsterdam and Tokyo. From Montreal, flights to Tokyo, Rome, Algiers, Algeria; Casablanca, Morocco; Nice, France and Tel Aviv, Israel will be resuming as well. From Vancouver, Canada, the Star Alliance member will be flying to Frankfurt, Germany; Dublin and Zurich. The carrier will also be relaunching services to tourist hotspots such as Barcelona, Spain; Budapest, Hungary; Copenhagen, Denmark; Venice, Italy; Madrid and Milan, which were unfortunately suspended since March 2020.
The prominent Star Alliance carrier will be the to Baltimore, Cincinnati, San Diego and Nashville, Tenn. are just a few of the 41 North American routes that will be restored, including 13 from Toronto, nine from Montreal, five from Ottawa, five from Vancouver, four from Calgary, three from Halifax and two from Edmonton.
These will be in complement with new services launching to the U.S from Montreal to Atlanta and Detroit, Toronto to Salt Lake City, and Vancouver to Austin. Within Canada, three new services will be launched between Montreal and Gander, Calgary and Fort St. John, and Vancouver and Halifax. All the routes are timed to connect with Air Canada’s domestic, U.S. and international network at the airline’s global hubs in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
In light of this brand-new expansion, Air Canada will operate to a grand sum of 51 Canadian and 46 U.S airports this summer, allowing it to offer customers the largest network and most travel options than any other Canadian carrier.
“These changes will also grow and cement our position as the leading carrier of choice in the transborder market, with the most non-stop flying between Canada and the U.S. and as the foreign carrier with the most service to the U.S. Moreover, our revitalized North American network, designed to connect easily with our global network, gives customers by far the widest choice of routes and destinations of any Canadian carrier this summer,” Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada, said.
Air Canada’s customer service will be complementing the network expansion, as it plans to open all 23 of its Maple Leaf Lounges with brand-new features to further enhance safety without compromising on passenger comfort, such as touchless airport services and ordering food and beverages from their seats.