Air Canada announced (04-Dec-2013) a preview of the cabin interiors that the carrier plans to present on its Boeing 787 fleet with plans to take delivery of the first of 15 787-800 aircraft in spring 2014. Air Canada plans to take delivery of 22 787-9 aircraft in Jul-2015 with all 37 787 aircraft scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019, transferring its current 767 and A319 aircraft to Air Canada rouge. Air Canada will deploy its first 787 on Toronto-Tel Aviv service from Jul-2014 and will offer previews of the new 787 service on select domestic and transatlantic flights on a temporary basis. The carrier will provide three cabins of service on the 787 with a new contemporary decor and seating. The cabins include 20 180-degree full flat-beds in its international business class cabin, 21 seats in the premium economy cabin, and 210 slimline seats in the economy cabin. Air Canada's executive VP and CCO Ben Smith stated, "The introduction of Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 aircraft featuring our new onboard product is a key component of Air Canada's international expansion plans. 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." [more - original PR]
Air Canada reveals preview of 787 cabin interiors
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The first commercial flight of the Bombardier CS300 on 14-Dec-2016, operated by airBaltic from Riga to Amsterdam, will be a major milestone for the Canadian manufacturer's new C Series aircraft programme. Three CS100 aircraft are already in service with SWISS, so the airBaltic flight will mean that both variants of the C Series are finally in commercial operation.
The programme is Bombardier's first wholly new aircraft development, aimed at the 100 to 150-seat market segment and offering advantages of fuel efficiency, cabin space, noise and emissions. Bombardier once targeted 2013 for entry into service, but has been dogged by problems and delays. In 2015, Bombardier seemed to have overstretched itself. The C Series received no new orders during the year and Bombardier was forced to seek investment from the Province of Québec to rescue the programme.
In 2016 the company has recovered to win a net 117 new orders, its highest annual total, bringing the programme total to 360. However, competition is cut-throat, with Airbus, Boeing and Embraer all having new developments of existing products in the same space as the C Series. Bombardier's breakthrough orders from Air Canada and Delta in 2016 required heavy price discounts.
Air Canada: despite market weakness and its robust capacity growth, maintains a positive outlook
Air Canada is undertaking a significant international push, just as the UK has voted to exit the European Union and terrorist attacks have swept Belgium, France and Turkey. Despite the pressure those circumstances are creating for revenue and yields, Air Canada has a reasonably positive outlook for demand in 3Q2016.
The airline has posted declines in yields and unit revenues for numerous quarters, but stresses that outcome remains a by-product of its strategy to grow internationally. Expansion by the company’s low cost subsidiary rouge has increased Air Canada’s mix of leisure customers and its growing average stage lengths have also pressured unit revenues. However, the company continually declares that its expansion is margin-accretive.
Air Canada no longer provides specific capacity guidance but has no plans to slow its growth in 2016, the bulk of which is directed to international markets. The company’s message is that its capacity increases should in fact be absorbed, even accounting for a major capacity push that started in late 2Q2016.