AIR CANADA – THE MAPLE SPIRIT
Air Canada is the flag carrier and the largest Canadian airline by fleet size and passengers carried founded in 1937 as Trans-Canada Air Lines. Its name was changed by an Act of Parliament from Trans-Canada Air Lines to Air Canada in 1964. The airline, privatized in 1989, is now owned by the ACE Aviation Holdings and is a founding member of Star Alliance.
Today, the Canadian company operates a fleet of 181 aircraft, its subsidiaries Air Canada Express and Rouge not included from the ERJ-190 to the brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner to more than 200 destinations around the world.
The Montreal Trudeau airport is separated into three different zones: The domestic one, the one for the flight to the U.S. and the International zone. It is from the latter that our today’s flight is departing from. This terminal is welcoming and the indications are clear. Moreover, plenty of amenities such as wide duty-free zones, various restaurants, press points, massage facilities and others are available to the passengers before boarding their flights.
The today’s trip will embark you onboard the Airbus A330-300 between Montreal and Geneva in the Air Canada’s Premium Economy Class. This flight is operated daily as “AC834” and is composed of two legs: Toronto – Montreal – Geneva. It is the second one that we’ll have the pleasure to present you.
At the reservation, Air Canada’s Premium Economy Class customers are offered the opportunity to purchase a lounge access for 25 CAD (Canadian Dollars). The airline owes 16 Maple Leaf Lounges across Canada, the United-States and Europe. The one at the Montreal Trudeau International zone is located in the center of the terminal. This lounge is very agreeable, made of warm colors and composed of a bar, two buffets, various sitting areas and waiters at your service while waiting for your flight. The choice is varied, from hot to cold dishes to a wide selection of beverages is available. The overhaul product is of very good quality, up to the expectations for a lounge of this standard.
Almost two hours before the departure time, the today’s bird arrives from Toronto. It is a 19 years old Airbus A330 registered C-GFAF and equipped with two Rolls-Royce Trent 772B-60 engines.
The Air Canada’s A330 is able to carry up a total of 292 passengers with 27 in Business Class and 244 in Economy. The Premium cabin of the leader of the 2017 Skytrax Airlines Ranking of North America does not differ so much at first sight from a traditional Economy Class. Configured in “2-3-2” and able to welcome 21 passengers, this cabin however offers a very good pitch of 96.5cm, a seat width and recline of respectively 45.3 and 17.7cm. Each of them is equipped with a USB as well as a 110-volt power port. An adjustable headrest, a pillow, a blanket, as well as an amenity kit composed of a toothbrush, an earplug, a pair of socks, an eye patch as well as toothpaste is also provided to the customers.
Before departure from the gate, an Oshibori, a welcome drink, a bottle of water and today’s menu are distributed. Passengers have the choice between a dinner made of chicken or beef. It is the latter that we decided to make you discover. Of course, the airline also offers the opportunity for its customers to choose their meal before the flight on the company’s website.
The actual service starts about an hour after take-off. The meal tray is composed of a salad, olive oil, the main course and a carrot cake. It is immediately obvious that the onboard catering proposed by Air Canada for a Premium Economy is one of the best of the market. Indeed, the beef tenderloin, the potato mash and the vegetables are very well presented and the whole is perfectly seasoned and tasty. The airline also proposes a large selection of beverages, and the red wine chosen tonight, a small bottle of “Silène des Peyrals Cabernet Sauvignon 2016″, was pretty decent. At the end of the dinner, a choice of coffee and tea was proposed to the passengers.
Entertainmentwise, Air Canada’s A330s are equipped with 22.6cm Thales made IFEs contrary to the other aircraft of the airline’s long-haul fleet which are provided with the more moderns Panasonic ex3. The Air Canada enRoute in-flight entertainment system offers up to 150 films, short films, 200 TV programs, and audio selections, including 100 music albums, playlists, audiobooks and podcasts. The airline’s A330s are however not yet equipped with WIFI. A selection of readings, among them the enRoute magazine, as well as a selection of newspapers is also at the disposal of the passengers.
About two hours before arrival, the breakfast service started. The latter was pretty disappointing as only composed of a gingerbread, a hot drink and an Oshibori which marks the end the today’s trip.
On this route, Air-Canada is without direct competition as no other airline fly directly between Montreal and Geneva. The overhaul product is very good and well in the standards of the market. Indeed, the cabin offers more space than a traditional Economy, the dinner service was excellent, and the crew was friendly, available and regularly passed through the cabin to propose different beverages during the flight. The only negative point would be the breakfast that was way to light for a Premium.
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~ Airliners Explorers ~