Canada's capital is getting its first-ever Boeing 787 Dreamliner route
Fans of the Dreamliner will soon have a new option for flights between North America and Europe.
That will come in Ottawa (YOW), where Air Canada will switch to the Boeing 787-8 for its route to London Heathrow (LHR) on March 29. Air Canada currently operates Boeing 767s on the route.
Air Canada billed the move as a way to add capacity. The airline’s 787-8s seat 255 passengers, 44 more than the 767s it currently flies between the cities.
For Ottawa, however, the aircraft switch represents a milestone for Canada’s capital city.
“The Air Canada decision to put the Dreamliner on the route is an exciting one,” Ottawa International Airport spokeswoman Krista Kealey said in an email to TPG. “It will be the first Dreamliner serving YOW."
The switch from the 767 to the 787 also will bring Air Canada’s “next generation cabin” to the route, giving Ottawa-London passengers the option to book the carrier’s international-style premium economy recliner seats.
Air Canada’s 787-8s are configured with 20 business-class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration and 21 premium economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. In coach, there are 214 seats in a 3-3-3 arrangement.
The premium economy option is not available on the 767s that Air Canada currently flies between YOW and LHR.
Still, LHR won’t be Ottawa’s only route to get international premium economy seating.
In May, Air Canada’s joint-venture partner Lufthansa is set to pick up the Ottawa-Frankfurt route that’s currently operated by Air Canada. Lufthansa will use 279-seat Airbus A340-300s on the route, replacing Air Canada’s 211-seat 767s. As with the LHR aircraft change, Lufthansa's A340s will add its premium economy product to the FRA-YOW market.
"Ottawa is well know for being Canada’s capital city, and that is something we are proud of," Joel Tkach, YOW’s Marketing and Business Development chief, said to TPG. "Beyond the political landscape, it is exciting to see carriers like Air Canada and Lufthansa recognize Ottawa-Gatineau business and tourism growth by introducing new levels of service — inclusive of premium economy cabins that should suit our market well."