Air Canada Will Fly All Business Class Planes

Filed Under: Air Canada

Air Canada will temporarily add some all business class jets to its fleet, though the business class seats will be sold as premium economy.

Air Canada’s all business class service

Air Canada has a charter division called Air Canada Jetz, with a fleet consisting of three Airbus A319s. These planes are available for charter, and are typically used by sports teams.

The planes are in an all business class configuration, with just 58 seats, and seats have 42-49″ of pitch, which is significantly more spacious than Air Canada’s typical regional business class.

As you’d expect, Air Canada Jetz doesn’t have much business right now, so Air Canada will actually be adding these planes to its commercial fleet for some amount of time.

Air Canada Jetz A319

Which routes feature Air Canada Jetz planes?

As of June 1, 2020, Air Canada will be flying Air Canada Jetz planes on select flights from Toronto to both Montreal and Ottawa. This will include 2x daily roundtrip flights in each market.

You’ll easily be able to identify these flights based on the fact that they’ll have flight numbers between 490 and 499.

How expensive are tickets?

This is where it gets especially interesting. The seats on the Air Canada Jetz planes are better than the typical regional business class, as the pitch is much better.

However, all seats on these special flights will be sold as premium economy rather than business class. For example, looking at pricing between Toronto and Montreal, you’ll notice that the price of these special flights is somewhere between the normal economy and business class pricing.

Each passengers will receive two free checked bags with these fares.

How much do award tickets cost on these flights?

Members can also redeem mies for these flights, though keep in mind that many Star Alliance partner programs don’t allow premium economy redemptions on partner airlines.

When booking through Air Canada Aeroplan, premium economy prices out at 10,000 miles one-way from Toronto to Montreal.

As a point of comparison, business class on other flights prices at 15,000 miles one-way.

So premium economy is quite a steal, especially as it only costs 2,500 more miles than economy.

What will service be like on these flights?

You might be wondering what service will be like on these all business class planes that are sold as premium economy. Well, service will be non-existent due to the pandemic, which is the case regardless of what plane or class of service you fly for these markets.

Air Canada is promoting less waiting time for both boarding and deplaning (given the lower capacity), that flights will depart from prime gates, and that boarding will only begin 25 minutes before departure.

Air Canada Jetz cabin

Why is Air Canada doing this, though?

As Air Canada describes it, this is part of the carrier’s “ongoing effort to engage customers and bring forth new and innovative ideas.” Yeah, I’m not sure what exactly to make of this initiative:

  • Demand is virtually non-existent right now
  • While people probably like the concept of “social distancing” or less crowded planes, chances are that most leisure travelers don’t want to pay 3x the economy fare for a 45 minute flight
  • I could see the merit to a “business shuttle” in some of these markets during peak business times, but business travel is way down
  • While Air Canada has been doing a great job engaging customers through its loyalty program, I’m not sure how exactly this engages customers?

My only guess is that Air Canada is short of smaller mainline planes at this point, and demand is very limited. Air Canada is retiring A319s and most A320s are grounded, so is the airline at the point of just thinking “well, these flights won’t have more than a few dozen passengers anyway, so we might as well?”

I dunno, this is an odd one…

Air Canada Jetz A319 cabin

Bottom line

Starting June 1, Air Canada will fly all business class configured A319s from Toronto to Montreal and Ottawa, and will sell the seats as premium economy. It’s cool to see these planes usually reserved for charters join the commercial fleet, though I’m still not sure I get the business idea behind it.

What do you make of Air Canada Jetz flying from Toronto to Montreal and Ottawa?

Comments
  1. Click-bait. I thought they were retrofitting planes to have a business/domestic first configuration, as Delta is rumored to be doing.

  2. @ FNT Delta Diamond — That’s not how clickbait works. I’m sorry if you “thought” they were going to retrofit planes, but nowhere did I say that. Not in the title, and not in the body of the post.

    Also, I’d be willing to bet just about anything that the Delta retrofit rumor doesn’t come to fruition.

  3. This will be big for the “political class” who commute on these routes (especially the YYZ to YOW) daily or weekly.

  4. @FNT not to disappoint you but that rumor you refer to about Delta also never said theyd be retrofitting. Delta also has a fleet of all business planes for sports charters and would likely just use those. Dont call it click bait when it happens.

  5. buyer beware with this scum of an airline.
    Americans may be used to getting refunds for cancelled flights.

    AC has taken a stance that DOT does not apply to them, they will not even issue vouchers, just future flight credit with no way of tracking it. No residual either, and is name-tied to the pax.

    Stay away or you are throwing your money away!

  6. These are Canada’s biggest hubs, think NYC/DC/Boston.

    Tons of demand between the 3 cities. My guess is they’re trying to entice corporate demand; people who ordinarily wouldn’t travel by plane but want the chance to try these aircraft and feel somewhat safer than a normal one.

  7. If the consumer wants “social distancing” on an airplane, they will have to be ready to pay for the luxury. But guess what, at the end of the day all consumers give a shit about is low prices. Social distancing, at least on airplanes, will disappear as soon as consumers figure that out.

  8. Dangerous Dave – what makes you think there’s such huge demand? The fact that on Monday there are only 6 flights between Toronto and Ottawa whereas a random Monday in October has 31 implies that isn’t the case at all.

  9. No question that these are Canada’s busiest routes, with the greatest demand. And, being very tall, I’d consider such a flight if it were applicable to me. That said, these routes are also quite short – so the need (or demand) for such luxury on a flight of +/- one hour is very questionable indeed.

    Still, it’s a fun idea that will attract certain people.

  10. I wonder if this has something to do with recent rumors swirling among AC staff and other industry insiders that Rouge is going away for good given the current situation. Lots of flights are being switched from Rouge to mainline AC so aircraft utilization may be affected as routes shift and personnel are made redundant.

  11. Would these planes require fewer flight attendants due to fewer seats? If so, maybe there is some cost savings involved?

  12. I’d love to fly on one of these just to say I did it, but YYZ-YUL/YOW are super short routes for that price point.

    Now 340 for say YYZ-YVR would be a different story.

  13. “Air Canada will temporarily add some all business class planes”

    Are they adding some, or adding all?

    I read that twice, on the blog main page, and in the first line of the post, and assumed you couldn’t decide whether they would be adding SOME business class planes or adding ALL business class planes (or you were still researching that detail) – and you had posted the article before proofreading. Only later did I figure out what you had actually meant: that “Air Canada will temporarily add some all-business class planes”…

    Adding that hyphen would remove the ambiguity…”ie an all-business class plane”. Otherwise it sounds like they are simply adding some planes with (some) business class seats…

  14. Ben correctly described the title. Air Canada will indeed be flying all-business class aircrafts as mainline… it isn’t Ben’s fault that Air Canada wants to sell a better hard product as Premium Economy.

  15. I wonder if this is something to do with contracts, legalities, etc given that Air Canada Jetz is a subsidiary of Air Canada…

  16. Air Canada holds 2.5 billion dollars of customers money. This was paid for with credit cards carrying 20 per cent interest. How out of touch with reality are the management. But if Ibwss makingb11 millionba year I might be a lttle blind as well

  17. @Jake more like with the NHL season currently suspended, and the NHL considering a hub city arrangement for finishing the regular season + playoffs when they do decide to resume, these aircraft that are usually leased out to sports teams will not be required flying these teams to road games.

  18. Lucky, I love this site as much as anyone, but to start off saying “AC is flying all business class” and then slipping in “sold as premium economy” is clickbaity.

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