Air Canada today announced the introduction of the first-ever non-stop service from Toronto to Hong Kong with the delivery of its first A340-500 aircraft, the world’s longest range airliner. Effective August 1, 2004, the new daily non-stop service with a flight time of 15.5 hours will link eastern North America and southeast Asia with convenient daily flights that will save travellers more than four and a half hours compared to other carriers’ best routings.
Concurrent with the start-up of its new service, Air Canada is introducing exciting new inflight amenities for customers in both Executive First and Hospitality Service cabins configured to seat 42 and 225 passengers, respectively. The airline is significantly enhancing its premium international product, Executive First, with the introduction of industry leading lie-flat seats on its new A340-500 service to Hong Kong. Combined with a generous 63 inch pitch, the ultra-luxurious seats recline to a flat 180 degrees and provide the ultimate experience in restful long haul flying. The carrier’s Executive First seats also feature adjustable privacy dividers, stowage areas, individual reading lights, lumbar support system and personal large screen monitor offering video on demand.
In addition, Air Canada’s Hospitality Service customers will enjoy, for the first time, individually controlled video on demand with personal monitors at each seat for a state-of-the-art inflight entertainment experience using a fully digital audio and video system. The Hospitality Service cabin features fully adjustable seats and headrests in a spacious 2x4x2 layout with 33-inch pitch providing more legroom than other carriers.
“We are very excited to offer travellers the fastest, most convenient air service between Toronto and Hong Kong with the first-ever non-stop service,” said Montie Brewer, Executive Vice President, Commercial. “With the introduction of the new Airbus A340-500 aircraft in our fleet, Air Canada customers will enjoy state of-the-art entertainment, the most spacious cabin and a further enhancement to our premium Executive First product with the introduction of lie-flat seats. Following on the opening of a brand new air terminal at our Toronto hub only days ago, we are focused on strengthening our international network to offer our customers superior value, choice and the best schedule to meet their needs from coast to coast, and around the world.”
Air Canada’s new daily non-stop flights from Toronto to Hong Kong complement its daily Vancouver-Hong Kong flights by offering customers the choice and flexibility of two daily flights linking both western and eastern Canada with one of Asia’s most important business centres and gateway to southeast Asia. With a 0945 departure from Toronto, flight AC015 is timed to offer convenient morning connections to and from points throughout Air Canada’s extensive North American network, particularly in eastern Canada and the United States. The early afternoon arrival in Hong Kong at 1315 the next day ensures connecting options for onward travel throughout Asia. The eastbound flight, AC016, leaves Hong Kong at 1515 and arrives in Toronto at 1835 the same day, providing maximum connecting options.
Air Canada will take delivery of two Airbus A340-500 aircraft this summer following successful negotiations with the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) to facilitate the expedited introduction of the ultra long range aircraft to Air Canada’s fleet. Air Canada has been operating daily non-stop service eastbound from Hong Kong to Toronto since December 1, 2003 using Airbus A340-300 aircraft.