Air Canada to fly first new Boeing 777

Air Canada will operate its first new Boeing 777 aircraft on key routes serving Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. As the airline begins introduction in April, 2007, of the first of eight new 777 aircraft to be delivered in 2007, Air Canada customers will experience the world’s most advanced wide-body aircraft on select Air Canada services: Toronto to London Heathrow (beginning in April), Toronto to Frankfurt and Toronto to Tokyo (beginning in June), Vancouver to Tokyo (beginning in July), and Toronto to Hong Kong (beginning in August).

In addition, effective Dec. 14, 2007, Air Canada will introduce daily non-stop service between Vancouver and Sydney, Australia, using its new 777 aircraft. Air Canada thus becomes the only airline offering non-stop service between Canada and Australia.

“The introduction of 777 service featuring Air Canada’s new in-flight product on these key European, Asian and South Pacific routes places Air Canada on the forefront of North American carriers offering the highest quality of long-haul service and amenities,” said Sean Menke, executive vice-president and chief commercial officer. “With the arrival of the 777, we are thrilled to introduce the only daily, non-stop service between Canada and Australia, our seventh non-stop destination in the Asia-Pacific region.

“We are equally proud to be the only North American carrier to offer customers the comfort and privacy of first-class lie-flat beds, at a business-class price. The deployment of these highly fuel-efficient and customer-friendly 777 aircraft on select Air Canada services to London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney raises the bar in comfort and convenience in air travel while leveraging Air Canada’s extensive international and North America route networks via our Toronto and Vancouver hubs.”

Air Canada has timed its new Vancouver-to-Sydney non-stop service to offer customers a vast array of time-saving connections to and from points throughout North America and Australia. The carrier’s new non-stop routing, with an elapsed time of approximately 15 hours southbound and 14 hours northbound, shaves more than three hours off the current one-stop routing via Honolulu. Air Canada flight AC033 will depart Vancouver at 23:45, arriving in Sydney 09:50 two days later due to time zone differences. Effective Dec. 16, 2007, AC034 will depart Sydney 11:35, arriving in Vancouver the same day at 06:40. Air Canada’s Star Alliance partner, Air New Zealand, will code-share on this service.

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With the introduction of non-stop service to Sydney, the carrier has suspended near-term plans to operate flights to Australia via Los Angeles in view of the lack of necessary authorizations at this time to operate the route.

Air Canada’s 777-300ER aircraft are configured to provide a choice of 42 executive first suites and 307 seats in economy class and the new 777-200LR that will be operated on the Sydney route from Feb. 1, 2008, will be configured with 42 executive first suites and 228 seats in economy class. Customers will enjoy industry-leading in-flight amenities on all 18 of the new 777 aircraft that Air Canada has on order, creating a consistent fleet-wide in-flight product, in conjunction with the carrier’s major refurbishment program of its existing fleet now under way. In addition, Air Canada has 14 Boeing 787 aircraft on order that will begin delivery in 2010.

Air Canada’s new in-flight product features lie-flat beds in its international executive first cabin, the only North American airline to offer the comfort and privacy of lie-flat beds in business class. All customers will enjoy digital-quality personal seatback entertainment systems with 80 hours of video and 50 hours of audio on demand, as well as standard 110-volt electrical outlets at arm’s reach.
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