Air Canada moved ahead in its fleet renewal
plan with the official delivery today of the first of 12 new Airbus A321, a
modern cost-efficient aircraft perfectly suited to serve high-traffic markets
within North America. Air Canada thus becomes the first airline in Canada to
operate the state-of-the-art, twin-engine jet, and the first airline in Canada
to operate all three aircraft types in the Airbus A320 family.
Air Canada will take delivery of five A321 aircraft by the end of 2001
with an additional seven to be delivered by December 2002. Together with the
withdrawal of its entire DC-9 fleet of 17 aircraft and 20 of its 42 Boeing 737
aircraft, Air Canada`s fleet modernization program will give it one of the
youngest fleets in the world with an average age of just 9.2 years effective
January 1, 2002.
“The delivery of our first A321 marks an important milestone in the on-
going renewal of the Air Canada fleet while achieving significant cost
efficiencies,” said Robert Milton, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The
new A321 fleet will replace older, less efficient DC-9 and Boeing 737 aircraft
with more modern, comfortable aircraft that fly further, use less fuel, carry
more passengers and cost less to operate.”
Air Canada`s new A321 fleet features custom-designed Executive Class
seats and a refreshing new interior design and colour scheme throughout both
cabins. The A321s also offer 110-volt laptop power ports at every seat in the
Executive Class cabin and at selected seats in the forward section of the
Hospitality cabin. Air Canada has configured the A321 to offer a generous
39 inch pitch in Executive Class and 32 inches in Hospitality.
The 166-seat A321 is the sister ship to the mid-sized A320, with 132
seats being reconfigured to 140, and smaller A319, with 112 seats being
reconfigured to 120 seats, all in a two-cabin Executive Class and Hospitality
configuration. The range of the A321, as well as its passenger features and
roomy cabin, are similar to the A320 and A319. Due to its seating capacity, it
is ideally suited to serve heavily travelled routes within Air Canada`s North
American network such as between Toronto and Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal,
Ottawa, New York and Florida destinations. Air Canada`s first A321 is
scheduled to begin operation on the Toronto-Calgary route Monday December 3.
The A321 brings substantial cost-saving and revenue-generating
opportunities to the airline. Among them:
- Commonality with the A319 and A320 in terms of pilot, in-flight,
maintenance and ground handling training;
- Commonality with the A319 and A320 in terms of engines (CFM56-5), spare
parts and flight simulators—reducing the new aircraft program`s
- Greater range capability (more than twice that of the DC-9);
- Higher fuel efficiency (40 per cent less fuel burn per seat than the
- Increased passenger revenue generating potential (66 seats more than
the B737 and 75 more than the DC-9);
- Increased cargo revenue generation potential (approximately three times
more cargo load capacity than both the Boeing 737 and DC9);
Air Canada is one of the largest Airbus operators in the world.
Currently, the airline operates 37 A319s with eleven on order, 47 A320s with
three on order, one A321 with 11 on order, eight A330-300s and 12 A340s with
five on order.
Air Canada provides scheduled and charter air transportation for
passengers and cargo to more than 150 destinations on five continents.
Canada`s flag carrier is the 10th largest commercial airline in the world and
serves more than 30 million customers annually with a fleet consisting of more
than 300 aircraft. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance providing
the world`s most comprehensive air transportation network.