First Look: Onboard Air Canada's first Airbus A220
Air Canada showed off its first Airbus A220 on Wednesday, ahead of the plane's debut in the skies above Canada this week.
"This is a historic moment for Air Canada as we welcome the A220 into our fleet," Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu said at an event to mark the introduction of the new jet at the airline's hangar in Montreal Trudeau International Airport (YUL).
The Star Alliance carrier will initially introduce the A220 on flights between Montreal and Calgary (YYC) on Thursday, expanding its network to other routes in its network — including to New York LaGuardia (LGA) — ahead of launching two new routes in May. That month, Air Canada will deploy the A220 on the airline's first flights between Montreal and Seattle (SEA), and between Toronto and San Jose, California (SJC).
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Air Canada outfits its A220-300s, formerly the Bombardier CSeries, with 137 seats split between 12 in business class and 125 in economy. Business class is laid out in a 2-2 configuration.
Economy is laid out in a 2-3 configuration. The cabin includes 20 preferred seats with extra legroom.
Every seat on Air Canada's A220 has a personal video screen, and power outlets. The aircraft is also outfitted with inflight Wi-Fi provided by Gogo.
One item Air Canada has opted not to keep on its A220s is the lavatory window, which has delighted passengers on Delta Air Lines' A220s. Delta was North America's first operator of the smaller A220-100, which it debuted in February 2019.
Related: Air Canada takes North America’s first Airbus A220-300
Air Canada has firm orders for 45 A220-300s with plans to operate 17 A220-300s by year-end, the airline's vice president of network planning Mark Galardo told TPG at the event. All of the aircraft are due by 2022.
The airline took delivery of its first A220 on Dec. 20.
Air Canada will use the A220 to replace the Embraer E190, which is due to leave the Air Canada fleet by the end of 2020. However, Galardo notes that the E190 retirement may be delayed if the Boeing 737 MAX grounding drags on through the year.
Air Canada has removed the MAX from its schedule through the end of March. However, its U.S. peers American Airlines and United Airlines have both removed the jet until the beginning of June.