Air Canada says it has embarked on the next phase of its transformation with the entry into scheduled service of its first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
Flight AC137 from Toronto to Calgary yesterday was the first to be operated using the 169-seat, fuel-efficient aircraft, featuring the airline’s next generation IFE system, spacious overhead storage bin capacity and Boeing's Sky Interior.
"Introducing a new aircraft type to the fleet is always exciting for an airline, but we know customers will be even more thrilled by the Boeing 737 MAX, which is set to become the mainstay of our North American, narrow-body fleet,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines.
"The 737 MAX is more fuel efficient and quieter than the older, narrow-body aircraft it will replace, benefitting the environment. This increased efficiency will also enable us to compete more effectively and gives the aircraft extended range capabilities so we can launch new city pairings within North America, and routes to select international destinations.”
Smith says that combined with AC’s Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft, the 737 MAX gives the airline one of the most modern fleets among global carriers.
Air Canada has 61 firm orders for the 737 MAX. They are to be delivered by 2021, with 18 due to enter the fleet by the end of next year.
The aircraft is also scheduled to operate internationally to Keflavik, Dublin and Shannon starting in summer 2018. The 737 MAX is configured in two cabins of service, North American Business and Economy. Features of the new aircraft include:
Improved seats and LED mood lighting along the ceiling;
Upgraded in-flight entertainment system with a new 15-language user interface. Coming soon, passengers will be able to stream video and audio to their own devices;
Faster Wi-Fi due to antennas with the highest bandwidth available in the industry, available starting in early 2018;
Upgraded overhead storage space compartments offer additional space for every passenger to bring a carry-on bag;
The latest quiet engine technology for up to 40% less noise;
The 737 MAX uses 20% less fuel per seat than the original Next-Generation 737.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.