Tag: Air Canada

Engine failure on Air Canada flight leads to emergency landing at YVR

News provided by Vancouver Sun – link to full story

Flight AC 538 departed Vancouver International Airport at 1:10 p.m. Sunday and was scheduled to make a three-hour flight to Anchorage, according to flight records.

STEPHANIE IP & DAVID CARRIGG, Vancouver Sun – Updated: June 23, 2019

An Air Canada flight bound for Anchorage, Alaska on Sunday was delayed when it made an emergency landing in Vancouver. FRANCIS GEORGIAN / PNG

An Air Canada flight bound from Vancouver to Anchorage, Alaska, returned mid-flight on Sunday after an engine loss.

Flight AC 538 departed Vancouver International Airport at 1:10 p.m. Sunday and was scheduled to make a three-hour flight to Anchorage, according to flight records.

Just over halfway into the trip, the flight turned around and requested an emergency landing at YVR.

YVR spokeswoman Andrea Pham confirmed the flight landed safely.

In a prepared statement, Air Canada said the flight had 112 passengers and had returned to Vancouver after an engine shutdown.

“Aircraft are designed to fly on one engine and our pilots are trained for such situations,” the airline said.

Flight Aware shows that the plane, an A320 aircraft, touched down around 3:06 p.m. in Vancouver.

sip@postmedia.com

Air Canada investigating how a passenger woke up alone, inside a darkened plane

News provided by Global News – Link to full article – with a hint from P.N.

By Andrew Russell National Online Journalist, Investigative  Global News

An Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 from San Francisco approaches for landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
An Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 from San Francisco approaches for landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport.Chris Helgren/Reuters

Air Canada says it is investigating after a passenger claims she woke up alone, still buckled into her seat, on a darkened plane after landing in Toronto.

In a post on Air Canada’s Facebook page, Tiffani Adams said the incident occurred on June 9 following a flight home from Quebec City to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

“I wake up around midnight, few hours after [the] flight landed, freezing cold still strapped in my seat in complete darkness,” Adams said in the post.

Adams said she attempted to call her friends and family but her cellphone died. She attempted to charge her phone but was unable to as the power on the aircraft was off.

“I’m trying to focus on my breathing and control my panic attack while I attempt to charge my phone by plugging into every USB port I could find—no luck because when they shut the aircraft down there is no power whatsoever,” she wrote.

“Since I can’t charge my phone to call for help I’m full on panicking because I want off this nightmare ASAP.”

Tiffani Adams

Adams said she attempted to call for help using the radio in the plane’s cockpit, but it wouldn’t work without power. She eventually found a flashlight that helped her figure out how to open an exit door. However, as there was no gangway and she was left staring at a “40 to 50-foot drop.”

“Now I’m facing a 40-50ft drop to the pavement below,” she wrote. “I search frantically for a rope so I can climb down to safely. [The] flight attendants seat is right by the door I opened, but the seatbelt is too short to hang from, so back to my distress signals.”

Adams said she used the flashlight to signal out the window and eventually attracted the attention of a baggage attendant who brought a ladder truck to the plane to rescue her.

“He is in shock asking how the heck they left me on the plane,” she wrote. “I’m wondering the same… when my seat an inch back or my tray [is] down flight crew take notice, but yet you missed a person still strapped into her seat and just all go on home?”

Adams said Air Canada agents offered her a ride home and then called her twice to apologize and say that they’re investigating into how she was missed by the plane’s crew.

An Air Canada spokesperson declined to answer questions from Global News about the incident but said the airline is reviewing the episode.

“We are still reviewing this matter so we have no additional details to share, but we have followed up with the customer and remain in contact with her,” the airline said.

Global News attempted to reach Adams through Facebook but have not yet received a response.

Meanwhile, Adams said she’s still recovering from the ordeal.

“I haven’t got much sleep since the reoccurring night terrors and waking up anxious and afraid I’m alone locked up someplace dark,” she wrote.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Air Canada Sep/Oct 2019 Toronto – Beijing aircraft changes

News provided by RoutesOnline.com – Link to full story

By Jim Liu – Posted21 June 2019 08:30

Air Canada during the month of September and October 2019 is adjusting operational aircraft for Toronto – Beijing route, currently operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. From Toronto, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will operate this route from 03SEP19 to 25OCT19.

AC031 YYZ 1435 – 1600+1 PEK 789 Daily
AC032 PEK 1805 – 1900 YYZ 789 Daily

Air Canada Proudly Salutes its Indigenous Employees on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Provided by Air Canada/CNW

Flight AC185 from Toronto to Vancouver was operated by Indigenous pilots, flight attendants and ground employees

Air Canada Proudly Salutes its Indigenous Employees on National Indigenous Peoples Day
Air Canada Proudly Salutes its Indigenous Employees on National Indigenous Peoples Day

TORONTO, June 21, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada is marking National Indigenous Peoples Day by proudly highlighting the achievements and contributions of its Indigenous employees. This week, flight AC185 from Toronto to Vancouver, operated with Air Canada’s flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner, was flown by an all-Indigenous full crew of two pilots and nine flight attendants. This flight was also supported by Indigenous employees on the ground. A video featuring the crew and the flight’s traditional Musqueam welcome on arrival at Vancouver is here.

Air Canada Proudly Salutes its Indigenous Employees on National Indigenous Peoples Day (CNW Group/Air Canada)
Air Canada Proudly Salutes its Indigenous Employees on National Indigenous Peoples Day (CNW Group/Air Canada)

“We are honoured to salute and acknowledge the achievements and contributions of Air Canada’s 350 First Nations, Inuit and Métis employees, who originated the idea of operating a flight with an all-Indigenous crew. We are thrilled to champion their pride in their identity and their professional attainments in aviation, which also makes them incredible ambassadors for our company and role models for young people. As well, we are appreciative of our Indigenous employees’ desire to help us demonstrate that Air Canada is a company that promotes and celebrates diversity and is a company open to and welcoming of all talents,” said Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Senior Vice President – People, Culture & Communications.

“Leading by example, Air Canada is first out of the gate to deploy an entirely Indigenous-operated flight acknowledging the contributions of their Indigenous employees. This is an unprecedented move to advance Indigenous participation and business initiatives, and will motivate other companies to support long-term sustainable opportunities that enhance our economy,” says JP Gladu, President and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB). “I am proud and honoured that Air Canada is a CCAB member and look forward to our continued partnership together.”

“Air Canada has been a valued supporter of Indspire for 27 years as Founding Partner and Official Airline of the Indspire Awards. With this initiative, they are demonstrating that they really walk the talk,” said Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire. “When I speak with First Nations, Inuit and Métis students, I tell them they can do anything they set their minds to, so to see themselves well represented in this industry really drives that point home. Bravo Air Canada!”

Air Canada has been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for four consecutive years and actively cultivates diversity to ensure that all qualified individuals have equal opportunities for career development and advancement. Through the airline’s internal Diversity Committees that support diversity initiatives, Indigenous employees regularly participate in aboriginal and Indigenous career fairs and events across Canada to share their career stories and provide insights into working at Air Canada. Apart from flying and working onboard Air Canada’s global fleet as pilots and flight attendants, Indigenous employees also hold customer service positions at airports and contact centres, and occupy professional maintenance, specialized operational and corporate management positions throughout the organization.

In its approach to diversity recruitment, the airline supports aboriginal human resource organizations, including the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development Inc. (CAHRD), FNTI (First Nations Technical Institute) and Indspire, an Indigenous-led registered charity organization whose vision is to enrich Canada through Indigenous education and by inspiring achievement. Through Indspire, Air Canada has also offered 24 bursaries over the last three years to young Indigenous people studying to become pilots or Aerospace engineers.

Air Canada also works closely with Amik (Professional Indigenous Engagement Services)  and Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), Aboriginal Futures, CFT7, the Kanawake and Kanesatake communities, along with other Indigenous organizations throughout Canada.

Air Canada’s Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR) details the airline’s diversity and community initiatives. Cultural support initiatives include the support and promotion of aboriginal filmmakers whose works are shown on the carrier’s in-flight entertainment programming available to millions of customers each month, and the support of Indigenous artists. The Air Canada Foundation also supports several Indigenous youth health and wellness programs. The CSR is available at: www.aircanada.com/citizensoftheworld

Air Canada Enhances its Award-Winning In-Flight Entertainment by Partnering with Crave and Stingray

Provided by Air Canada/CNW

  • Airline also boosts TV and movie content by 50 per cent on select aircraft types
  • New, easy-to-navigate in-flight entertainment system interface, will enable customers to browse in 15 languages, and discover more than 1,000 hours of high quality entertainment – more than any other airline in the Americas

MONTREAL, June 20, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada announced today that it is expanding its popular in-flight entertainment selection through unique partnerships with Bell Media’s premium entertainment service, Crave, and Canadian-based multi-platform audio service, Stingray. The new offerings are part of an enhancement of the airline’s entertainment system that will increase the content selection by 50 per cent on certain aircraft types, including many of its longest-haul wide-body Boeing 777s and 787s, as well as Air Canada Rouge’s A319s, A321s and Boeing 767s, offering enough content that a customer would have to fly around the world 22 times to consume it all.

Air Canada is expanding its popular in-flight entertainment selection. (CNW Group/Air Canada)
Air Canada is expanding its popular in-flight entertainment selection. (CNW Group/Air Canada)

Now, customers flying on Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge can enjoy premium Crave content including Vida and The Girlfriend Experience from STARZ, SHOWTIME’s Billions, Ray Donovan, and The Affair, the Crave original comedy Letterkenny and Comedy Central’s Broad City. From Stingray comes a wider range of music content, including concert and music documentaries, music video playlists, artist interviews, award show coverage and introducing Stingray Ambiance, featuring videos of gorgeous destinations set to soothing soundtracks to encourage relaxation. On Air Canada mainline, Stingray audio content will be available in a variety of genres, including pop, country, hip-hop and wellness. As a special introductory offer, Air Canada customers can take advantage of a free three-month trial of Stingray Music, using promotional code AirCanada at www.stingray.com/promo until the end of September.

“Recently, Air Canada was voted the Best Airline for Onboard Entertainment by readers of Global Traveler yet Air Canada’s commitment to service excellence demands that we continually elevate the customer experience. For this reason, we are pleased to announce new partnerships with Crave and Stingray that will significantly enrich our video and music offerings. Air Canada will be the only carrier to offer full seasons of Crave programming, while music lovers will be able to enjoy a much wider array of songs and genres from top artists through Stingray,” said Andrew Yiu, Vice President of Product at Air Canada.

“Additionally, Air Canada is significantly boosting the selection of movies and television shows it currently offers on its newest mainline wide-body and narrow-body aircraft types. These upgrades will give customers, including those on our longest flights, greater choice than ever before, with access to full season boxsets of shows such as How I Met Your Mother, full collections of movie franchises including Harry Potter and the Matrix, more new releases from Disney and expanded content from HBO. To help customers select and manage their entertainment options, we are also progressively introducing a new user interface that will be easier to navigate and available in 15 languages.”

Later this year, increased content will also come to Air Canada’s Airbus A330 fleet with the addition of upgraded servers.

Fun facts about Air Canada’s In-Flight Entertainment System:

  • To consume all the in-flight entertainment on board Air Canada in June, customers would have to fly Toronto to Hong Kong 72 times or around the world 22.5 times
  • Over 90 per cent of passengers engage with our in-flight entertainment.
  • At over 4 hours, the longest movie we have onboard is Cleopatra (1963)
  • The most watched movie of the year thus far is Bohemian Rhapsody.

About Air Canada 

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving nearly 220 airports on six continents. Canada’s flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2018 served nearly 51 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 62 airports in Canada, 54 in the United States and 100 in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,317 airports in 193 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which also named Air Canada the 2019 Best Airline in North America. For more information, please visit: aircanada.com/media, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook

Be Prepared for the Busy Summer Travel Season, Air Canada Offers Tips To Make Your Journey Smoother

Provided by Air Canada/CNW

  • 165,000 set to fly today; a record first day of summer for Air Canada
  • Air Canada also provides travel tips for busy summer season, including pre-trip preparations to ensure a smooth journey
  • Customers checking in are now required to provide a mobile phone number or email where they can be reached during their trip to meet new Canadian Airline Passenger Protection Regulations.

MONTREAL, June 20, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – With the busy summer season about to begin Air Canada is highlighting some essential travel tips to make the journey smoother for customers over the holidays.

As part of its commitment to customer service, Air Canada has implemented an enhanced check-in process to improve the travel experience for customers. All customers checking in through any Air Canada channel are now required to include a mobile phone number or email address through which they can be contacted directly during their trip.

Air Canada is highlighting some essential travel tips to make the journey smoother for customers over the holidays. (CNW Group/Air Canada)
Air Canada is highlighting some essential travel tips to make the journey smoother for customers over the holidays. (CNW Group/Air Canada)

Customers who have used a travel agent to book their flights should ensure the agent has provided the airline with the customer’s direct contact information. Air Canada offers customers a variety of convenient ways to check-in, including on-line, through mobile devices and at airports using kiosks, and each mode now makes providing contact information mandatory to complete the check-in process.

Summer Travel

Today will be our busiest first day of summer ever, with 165,000 customers set to take off to destinations around the world. To make each customer’s journey as smooth as possible, Air Canada offers the following helpful tips so you can spend more time enjoying your vacation.

1. Save time. Check-in 24 hours in advance.

Check-in online at aircanada.com, mobile.aircanada.ca or via the Air Canada app (be sure to download the app for iOS or Android). You can also select/change your seat, select the number of checked baggage and pay any baggage fees in advance.

Customers must provide contact information (email or mobile number) when checking-in (mobile‎/kiosk/web) so that we can contact you in case of travel disruptions. If you’ve booked with a travel agent, please ensure they’ve included your contact information on your booking.  

  • Travelling with kids under six? We’re here to help.
    • Look for Family Check-in signage at select airports (Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver);
    • Kids under age 6 and their family board early, before general boarding. This means extra time to store belongings and settle in;
    • Once you have booked your tickets, contact us and we will assign seats for you and your kids under the age of 12 that are close together.

For added fun, you can register your child for Air Canada’s Altitude Skyriders (skyriders.aircanada.com) program to help them track their travels. Each child gets a Skyriders starter kit that consists of a friendly introduction letter, a sturdy luggage tag and a logbook to keep a record of each one of their flights.

More information on travelling with kids is available at aircanada.com/familytraveltips.

2. Is your flight on time? Confirm online 24/7 at aircanada.com/flightnotification or via the Air Canada app.

You can stay informed of flight status for all Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express flights by signing up for Flight Notifications or calling the toll-free Air Canada flight status line at 1-888-422-7533; TTY (Hearing Impaired): 1-800-361-8071.

We also post a Daily Travel Outlook that lists possible flight disruptions due to forecasted weather or other events and provides a link to a self-service rebooking tool.

3. Arrive early. Here’s what we recommend: aircanada.com/deadlines.

Arrive early at the airport to be at the gate on time and avoid congestion that may occur during peak periods. If you are travelling to the US, please arrive 3 hours prior to departure to clear customs as well.

4. Review baggage rules. Here’s what to carry-on and check-in.

Check size and weight allowances when packing at aircanada.com/carryon as carry-on baggage will be screened and tagged. Information on checked baggage allowance is available at: www.aircanada.com/checked.

Consider bringing a bag that will fit under the seat in front of you as space in the overhead bins is limited. We also strongly recommend checking any bags that do not fit into our sizers to make the boarding process more efficient and prevent delays.

Put all valuables, including electronics, documentation, medication, car keys, money and jewelry, in carry-on bags and not in checked bags.

Bag Tags – Place identification INSIDE bags as well as on the outside, as external baggage name tags sometimes become detached.

Gifts – when travelling with gifts in your carry-on, remember to keep them unwrapped to facilitate security inspection.

5. Check your documentation. Avoid unnecessary surprises before your vacation takes off. Ensure that all your travel documents are valid and are not damaged, for information see: aircanada.com/traveldocumentation.

Travel within Canada

  • Customers must present a valid government-issued photo identification that includes date of birth and gender for all passengers 18 years of age and older.

Travel from Canada to an international destination

  • A valid passport, signed, with an expiration that meets the requirement of the destination country in required. Some countries require passports to be valid for at least 6 months or more before allowing a traveler to enter the country.
  • Visas may be needed to enter the country of destination and/or when connecting via certain countries. Check IATA Travel Centre search tool for country-specific passport, visa and health entry requirements. When using a third-party website or travel agent, take the extra step of verifying the requirements of your destination country.

Travel to Canada from an international destination

Canadian citizens

  • A Canadian passport for travel to Canada.
  • Dual nationals may no longer use a non-Canadian passport to arrive in Canada.

Friends and family from outside Canada

  • A reminder to visiting friends and family from outside Canada that the Government of Canada requires an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) that must be obtained prior to travel. More information is here.

Parents travelling with children

  • If passports are required, all children must have their own passport. Remember that parents/legal guardians MUST NOT sign their child’s Canadian passport, as doing so invalidates it.
  • Visit IATA Travel Centre and Travel and Tourism Canada or contact the embassy high commission or consulate of all countries you and your child will be visiting to confirm all entry and exit document requirements.

6. Seamless travel to the U.S. Here’s how.

Travelling to the U.S.

  • Air Canada customers flying to the U.S. (from or via Canada) will clear U.S. Customs at Canadian airports before their flight. Our operations at all three primary Canadian hubs, Toronto (YYZ), Montreal (YUL) and Vancouver (YVR) are all under one roof with no terminal transfers, meaning connections are easy, comfortable and seamless.

Travelling from the U.S.

  • For our customers travelling from the U.S. through our hubs and onwards to any international destination, the seamless connection process and quick passport check means passengers don’t have to wait in customs lines, pick up bags or transfer terminals. Simply walk to the next departure gate.

For more information on connections, go here.

What else to know:

The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoint lines can be longer during busy periods. The TSA recommends arriving at the airport three hours before departure if your flight is in the early morning or evening, when wait times for screening can be up to one hour. Members of Trusted Traveler Programs, such as Nexus or Global Entry, may experience normal wait times. Learn more here.

The United States requires that travellers provide additional Secure Flight information at least 72 hours before their flight or at time of booking. Please note that this requirement applies to many international flights which are deemed to over-fly the US. For more information, please consult aircanada.com/secureflight.

Eligible Air Canada customers enjoy the benefits of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s TSA Pre✓ program which provides accelerated security screening at most U.S. departure airports by allowing customers to keep shoes, belts and light outerwear on, and laptops and liquids in carry-on baggage. Learn more about TSA Pre✓ and how it applies to Air Canada flights.

Star Alliance Name Best Airline Alliance at Skytrax World Airline Awards for 4th Consecutive Year

Provided by Star Alliance

Star Alliance Los Angeles Lounge Retains Best Alliance Lounge Award
15 Member Carriers Claim a Total of 46 Awards

photo1.jpg
Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh flanked by member airlines cabin crew

Paris, France  – June 18th, 2019 –  For the fourth year running, Star Alliance has claimed the Best Airline Alliance title at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, with the Alliance’s prestigious Los Angeles Lounge retaining the Best Airline Alliance Lounge Award for the fifth year in a row.

Upon accepting the honour at the 53rd Paris Air Show, Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh, said: “This award would not have been possible without the trust and loyalty of the many hundreds of millions of customers that fly the Star Alliance network each year. To them, I take this opportunity to express our thanks. It is their confidence in what we have to offer that has made us the World’s Best Airline Alliance for the fourth consecutive year and an affirmation of our efforts and innovation to further improve their journey.”

Goh also paid tribute to the “vigour and dedication of the Star Alliance workforce, who consistently go to great lengths to make the customer journey more efficient, seamless and enjoyable every day. We benefit from the diverse strengths of over 430,000 proud employees across our 28 member airlines, which affords us the capacity to offer a holistically unrivalled passenger experience.”

The World Airline Awards were introduced in 1999 to provide a customer satisfaction study that was truly global. Travellers across the world vote in the largest airline passenger satisfaction survey to decide the award winners.

Star Alliance was the first airline alliance to receive the Best Alliance Award from Skytrax when the category was first introduced in 2005.

Over 100 customer nationalities participated in the latest survey with 21.65 million eligible entries counted in the results. More than 300 airlines are featured in the survey results.

Edward Plaisted of Skytrax said: “We congratulate Star Alliance for their remarkable achievement in winning the world’s Best Airline Alliance title for the fourth consecutive year, and this underlines the fact that they are delivering a range of products and services to customers which are popular. Star Alliance have now won this coveted award ten times since 2005 and remain at the forefront of the global airline alliances. The other success for Star Alliance was receiving the award for the Best Airline Alliance Lounge, which was won by the Star Alliance Lounge in Los Angeles again this year.”

Complementing the Alliance awards, 15 Star Alliance member carriers received distinctions in 46 categories:

Aegean Airlines Best Regional Airline in Europe
Air Canada Best Airline in North America 
World’s Best Business Class Lounge Dining
Best Business Class in North America
Best Airline Staff in Canada
Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in North America 
Air New Zealand Best Premium Economy in Australia / Pacific
Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in Australia / Pacific 
ANA World’s Best Airport Services 
World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering
Best Business Class in Asia
Best Airline Staff in Japan
Best Cabin Crew in Japan 
Asiana Airlines Best Cabin Crew in South Korea 
Austrian Airlines World’s Best Premium Economy Class Onboard Catering 
Best Business Class Catering in Europe
Best Cabin Crew in Europe 
COPA Airlines Best Airline in Central America / Caribbean 
Best Airline Staff in Central America /Carribean 
Ethiopian Airlines Best Airline in Africa 
EVA Air World’s Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness 
World’s Best Economy Class Catering 
Lufthansa Best Airline in Europe
Best First Class in Europe
Best Business Class in Europe
Best Economy Class in Europe
Best Airline in Western Europe
Best Cabin Crew in Germany 
Singapore Airlines World’s Best Cabin Crew
Best Airline in Asia
World’s Best First Class
World’s Best First Class Seat
Best First Class Lounge in Asia
Best Business Class Seat in Asia
Best Premium Economy Class in Asia 
South African Airways Best Airline Staff in Africa
Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in Africa
Best Cabin Crew in Africa 
Swiss International Air Lines World’s Best First Class Lounge
Best Airline Cleanliness in Europe 
THAI Airways Best Airline Staff in Asia
World’s Best Airline Spa Facility
Best Cabin Crew Thailand 
United Airlines World’s Best Business Class Lounge
Best Business Class Seat in North America
Most Improved Airline in North America 

The online survey operated from September 2018 to May 2019, together with invitations sent to previous year respondents in the survey database.  Customer survey forms were offered in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese.

Air Canada Named Best Airline in North America for Third Straight Year at 2019 Skytrax World Airline Awards

Provided by Air Canada/CNW

  • Airline also wins for World’s Best Business Class Lounge Dining
  • Employees recognized as Best Airline Staff in Canada
  • Eighth time in 10 years Air Canada named Best in North America

MONTREAL, June 18, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada was named Best Airline in North America for the third consecutive year and recognized for the world’s Best Business Class Lounge Dining, Best Airline Staff in Canada, Best Business Class in North America and Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in North America at the 2019 Skytrax World Airline Awards ceremony held today at the International Paris Air Show. It is the eighth time in the past ten years the carrier was selected as the Best in North America by the World Airline Awards, which are based on passenger satisfaction surveys of more than 21 million global travellers.

Air Canada was named Best Airline in North America for the third consecutive year. (CNW Group/Air Canada)
Air Canada was named Best Airline in North America for the third consecutive year. (CNW Group/Air Canada)

“I am very proud that Air Canada has been recognized as the Best Airline in North America for the third straight year and eighth time in ten years. The Skytrax World Airline Awards are global, highly regarded recognitions. Our continued success winning these awards shows we have truly transformed Air Canada into a leading global carrier focused on a superior product offering and customer service excellence. I commend our 33,000 award winning employees whose hard work transporting our customers safely and comfortably has awarded us best airline staff in Canada and is enabling us to compete effectively against some of the largest airlines in the world,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada.

“We also thank our customers for their loyalty and for recognizing our efforts. The fact Air Canada has been repeatedly voted the Best Airline in North America underscores our commitment to continue enhancing all aspects of the travel experience. This includes such innovations as upgrades to our in-flight entertainment systems, the introduction of onboard Wi-fi, new and refurbished lounges, streamlined airport processes, our narrow-body fleet renewal program, a new reservation system to vastly improve bookings management and, next year, a new loyalty program that we aim to make the industry’s best.”  

The Star Alliance, of which Air Canada is a founding member, was also named world’s best airline alliance by Skytrax.  

“Air Canada’s achievement of being named the Best Airline in North America for the eighth time is a remarkable achievement, and it is a fitting tribute for all Air Canada staff that they continue to receive such a vote of confidence from customers. We are also delighted to see Air Canada Signature Suite in Toronto Pearson Airport recognised as the World’s Best Business Class Dining Experience,” said Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax.

Since 2010, Air Canada has embarked on a $12 Billion capital expenditure program to elevate the travel experience which has included:

  • An expanded global network connecting over its Canadian gateway hubs to more than 220 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is one of only a few airlines in the world to serve all six inhabited continents;
  • A wide body fleet renewal program that introduced Boeing 777s and state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliners and which includes a significant refurbishment of the A330 fleet to the Dream cabin;
  • A narrow body fleet renewal which included the entry into the fleet of the Boeing 737MAX aircraft, and the Airbus A220-300 jets entering the fleet in 2019;
  • Best in class cabin interiors across its wide-body fleet, featuring lie-flat direct aisle access Signature Class seats and a dedicated Premium Economy cabin offering increased pitch and width;
  • Signature Class Service internationally and on select flights on prime North American routes which include Torontoto and from Vancouver, San Francisco Los Angeles and, for next winter, Honolulu; Montreal to and from Vancouver; New York (Newark) to/from Vancouver, featuring an end-to-end premium travel experience with seamless airport-to-onboard services with exclusive services and amenities;
  • BMW service to international flights at the Toronto global hub;
  • New International, Domestic and U.S. Maple Leaf Lounges, including the Air Canada Signature Suite for eligible customers travelling in Signature Class internationally at its Toronto Pearson global hub. The suite features a la carte dining with a menu created by celebrated Canadian Chef David Hawksworth;
  • Ongoing customer service training initiatives for customer-facing in-flight, airport, baggage and call centre employees;
  • Technological innovations to facilitate customer interactions, including a new website compatible with all types of devices for a consistent experience, ongoing refinements of mobile technology, and increased investments in Artificial Intelligence to further develop customer-focused capabilities and information management;
  • Enhanced onboard amenities such as signature dishes prepared by Chef David Hawksworth coupled with wine pairings by world-renowned sommelier Veronique Rivest, and in-flight Wi-fi connectivity fleet-wide in North America, which is now being progressively implemented onboard the international fleet, to complement Air Canada’s personal seatback In-Flight Entertainment System that offers hundreds of hours of free digital audio-visual content.

About the Skytrax World Airline Awards

The World Airline Awards are independent and impartial, introduced in 1999 to provide a customer satisfaction study that was truly global. Travellers across the world vote in the largest airline passenger satisfaction survey to decide the award winners. The awards are referred to by media around the world as “the Oscars of the aviation industry”. Skytrax pays all costs of the Survey and Awards event, and airlines do not pay any entry or registration fee. The awards event and award presentations are supplied by Skytrax at no charge. There are no fees or costs for airline use of the award logos and results.  Over 100 customer nationalities participated in the survey with 21.65 million eligible entries counted in the results. Survey entries were screened to identify IP and user information, with duplicate, suspect or ineligible entries deleted. More than 300 airlines are featured. The online survey operated from September 2018 to May 2019, together with invitations sent to previous year respondents in the Skytrax survey database. The customer survey was operated in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese. On a year-to-year basis, the most substantial increases were noted in customer voting across the Chinese and Spanish language surveys.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving nearly 220 airports on six continents. Canada’s flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2018 served nearly 51 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 62 airports in Canada, 54 in the United States and 100 in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,317 airports in 193 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which also named Air Canada the 2019 Best Airline in North America. For more information, please visit: aircanada.com/media, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook

Lufthansa’s Canadian ties strengthened through collaboration with the trade

News provided by TravelWeek.ca – Link to full article

Friday, June 14, 2019 Posted by Travelweek Group

TORONTO — Lufthansa has been upgrading its Canadian routes with A350s now flying from Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Lufthansa’s Hans deHaan, Senior Director, Canada, says the aircraft is a step forward with its passenger comfort and optimized cabin pressurization: “You can really notice when you step off the plane.”

DeHaan joined Lufthansa Group’s Tal Muscal, Director of Group Communications, The Americas and Frank Naeve, newly appointed (as of May 1) Vice President of Sales, The Americas for a round table discussion yesterday to discuss The Lufthansa Group’s (LHG) presence in the Canadian market and what to expect for the future.

In 2018 Lufthansa flew 142 million passengers, marking a record number for the Skytrax-rated 5-star airline. DeHaan says what makes Lufthansa unique from other airlines is its “extremely wide offering to areas around the world, the high standard of reliability, a great partnership with Air Canada, our product being up to where it should be. And we are a 5-star airline.”

Naeve said Lufthansa Group has 221 new planes on order scheduled to enter the fleet by 2027, at a price of approximately $43 billion. Lufthansa has plans to bring down the average age of its fleet, bring in 787 Dreamliners, new Boeing 777 planes and Airbus A-350s, which will replace the 747s.

LHG’s summer schedule involves 62 frequencies out of Canada into five European hubs: Frankfurt, Munich, Brussels, Vienna and Zurich.

Lufthansa’s 20+ year partnership with Air Canada continues and gives travellers a high level of flexibility.

Lufthansa’s connection to Canada is strengthened through collaboration with the travel trade. A sales force of 20 reps is in touch with corporate accounts and holds seminars for agents with updates on the operations within Lufthansa.

For over 20 years Lufthansa has also worked to improve its position in terms of environmental issues and social responsibility. Purchasing 40 new long-haul aircraft of the newest generation of 20 A350s and 20 B787s, Lufthansa Group aims to modernize its fleet. These plans are part of a “comprehensive program we are putting in place where we quite clearly want to make a contribution to reducing out CO2 emissions and having a positive impact,” says Naeve.

Lufthansa also wants to be a 2.9 L engine carrier, down from 4L, and in the next decade plans to eliminate the use of regular fuel consumption vehicles on the ground, transitioning to electric vehicles in airports and making its facilities greener.

And in May 2019 the Lufthansa Group officially launched ‘help alliance Americas’ as a sub-organization of its long-standing aid organization, ‘help alliance worldwide’, focused on social commitment projects and charitable outreach. Says Naeve: “We see it as our responsibility not just to do business, but to be part of society and make a contribution wherever we can.” In 2018, Lufthansa covered all the costs of administration, project assistance, fundraising and communication at help alliance gGmbH to ensure 100% of all other donations go to fund aid projects.

Meanwhile with its Lufthansa Innovation Hub in Berlin, Lufthansa is using data to improve the passenger experience. “What is important to us is that we deliver these ideas to add value for the customer effectively,” says Naeve.

DeHaan touched on Lufthansa’s onboard experience. With an upgraded selection of movie choices, those who fly Lufthansa will notice that “the food is fantastic, the service is very personalized, and it’s a very nice experience”.

Touching on the diversity of each airline within Lufthansa Group – including Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines – Naeve said: “Part of what we do as the Lufthansa Group is provide a high level of service and comfort, but each airline retains the positives that they bring from their own cultural background, which is appreciated by our passengers.”

Naeve has 30 years of experience at Lufthansa Group, working in Germany, China and Singapore. Talking about his goals for his new role, he says he hopes to work on “increasing a footprint in the Americas by growing the network and linking new cities and increasing frequencies by meeting customers, teams, partners and stakeholders. Also important is working to further improve the offer to the customers through Lufthansa’s joint venture with Air Canada.”

Air Canada Introduces Maple Leaf Lounge Express: Another Convenient Way to Work or Relax before Flying to the U.S. from Toronto Pearson

Provided by Air Canada/CNW

Second Transborder Lounge at Pearson is just steps from U.S. departure gates

MONTREAL, June 14, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today unveiled another convenient way for premium customers to work or relax prior to their flight with the Maple Leaf Lounge Express, located in the Toronto Pearson International Airport Terminal 1-transborder departure area. The lounge joins the existing Maple Leaf Lounge as the second premium lounge product available to customers departing to the US from Toronto-Pearson. Business Class customers or those with select Altitude Status, as well as Star Alliance Gold members departing on an Air Canada, or United Airlines flight will be eligible to access the Maple Leaf Lounge Express.

Air Canada Introduces Maple Leaf Lounge Express: Another Convenient Way to Work or Relax before Flying to the U.S. from Toronto Pearson (CNW Group/Air Canada)
Air Canada Introduces Maple Leaf Lounge Express: Another Convenient Way to Work or Relax before Flying to the U.S. from Toronto Pearson (CNW Group/Air Canada)

“We are excited to welcome Air Canada and Star Alliance customers travelling to the United States in our new Maple Leaf Lounge Express. This unique space has been created to enhance the overall travel experience of our premium customers and represents a commitment to our transborder product,” said Andrew Yiu, Vice President, Product at Air Canada. “This all-new lounge is just steps from the Air Canada commuter gates, making it easy to enjoy comfort on the go before flying to the U.S. Customers will be warmly received by a premium agent, and enjoy a calm environment in which to work or relax before their Air Canada flight.”

The Express lounge, just steps away from departure gates F84-F99, has seating for 50 customers. The new space features a self-serve bar, offering a wide selection of beverages, including Canadian wines and Lavazza specialty coffee and a selection of light snacks. Business travellers planning to work on site may also take advantage of complimentary Wi-Fi.

Air Canada Introduces Maple Leaf Lounge Express: Another Convenient Way to Work or Relax before Flying to the U.S. from Toronto Pearson (CNW Group/Air Canada)
Air Canada Introduces Maple Leaf Lounge Express: Another Convenient Way to Work or Relax before Flying to the U.S. from Toronto Pearson (CNW Group/Air Canada)

A new commuter facility was recently opened at Toronto Pearson Terminal 1 to provide additional access and to better service commuter narrow body aircraft flying to the United States. This new commuter facility was developed by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and improves airport efficiencies within the new Terminal 1 building.  The new Maple Leaf Lounge Express further enhances the customer experience in this gate area.

As a leading global carrier, Air Canada offers eligible customers access to 23 Maple Leaf Lounges worldwide including 17 at Canadian airports, plus the Signature Suite at Toronto Pearson global hub featuring 5-star dining. Customers travelling abroad may also enjoy lounges at New York-LaGuardia, New York-Newark, Los Angeles, London Heathrow, Frankfurt and Paris. More information about Air Canada’s award-winning Maple Leaf Lounges is here.