(HT to One Mile at a Time for sharing this news)
The headline in the announcement focuses on the introduction of Premium Economy - a new class of service that will provide more legroom than regular economy seats, as well as a slightly-wider seat.
It's a nice addition - certainly a more comfortable experience than they currently offer in economy, though it'll be interesting to see how much more it costs once the new planes are fully-integrated into the system.
I want to focus on the changes Air Canada is making to their existing Executive First and Economy cabins though - because they're not pretty.
Let's take them one at a time...
Executive FirstAir Canada's current Executive First seat is actually a suite of sorts, with a high degree of privacy:
|Existing Air Canada Executive First Suites|
They are setup in a 1-2-1 arrangement, which ensures that everyone has direct aisle access. It's a premium product I've been hoping to try for some time now.
The new Executive First seat is actually a seat - and it's very similar to what SWISS, brussels, and several other airlines offer. From everything I've heard, it's also quite nice - but it does offer considerably less personal space than the suites.
|New Air Canada Executive First Seats|
In this arrangement, there will be as many as 6 seats across (arranged in a 2-2-2 setup). The current 777-300ERs have 24 Executive First Suites between the first and second doors on the plane. The new version will have 36 seats in that same space - and 8 of those seats will not have direct aisle access. Ouch.
EconomyI've always found that Air Canada offered a bit more room in their economy seats than most other airlines. On their 777s, they currently have 32" of legroom and seats that are 18.5" wide, arranged in a 3-3-3 setup. That's not bad! Unfortunately, the new planes will be in a 3-4-3 arrangement - and their not getting any wider. As a result, seat width will shrink to a cozy 17" (for reference, Air Transat's seats are 16.5-18" wide, depending on the plane). As if that weren't enough - they're also cutting leg room down to 31" (though to be fair, that brings them more in-line with most other carriers). Sounds like a fun ride to me!
If you've flown in economy on an Air Canada 777-300ER, I want you to think about how cozy it was on that flight. Got that visual? Now, ADD 100 PEOPLE TO THE PLANE - because that's what they're going to do. Total capacity will increase from 349 today to 458! You can compare the 2 configurations here.
The expectation seems to be that these planes will be used for leisure-heavy routes, where passengers tend to be more price-conscious and less picky. However I thought that was the whole point of introducing rouge, so maybe I'm missing something here...
|Forget rouge - Air Canada's NEW new leisure airline is... Air Canada!|
Sure seems like a downgrade to me, but Canadian friends - is this going to impact your choice when choosing who to fly for overseas flights in the future? Or am I getting all worked up about nothing?
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