Air Canada has announced it will begin operating an Airbus A220-300 on its route from Montreal to Los Angeles. The A220 will operate the round-trip once a day from the 1st of August to the 7th of September. The route will be operated by Air Canada three times a day in peak season.
Montreal to Los Angeles
Air Canada’s Montreal – Los Angeles route is getting an upgrade throughout August. Previously, the twice-daily route had been scheduled to be operated by an Airbus A330 and Boeing 737 MAX. But a schedule update now indicates that one of the airline’s new A220 will operate a third daily flight.
The flights operated by the A220 will be flight AC797 which will leave Montreal at 08.05 local time. It then arrives at LAX airport at 11.03 local time. A flight time of just six hours. The return flight is flight AC798 which leaves Los Angeles at 11.50 local time and arrives back at the airline’s Montreal hub at 20.10.
The airline operates two daily flights on the Montreal to Los Angeles flight at all other times of the year. The two other routes are currently scheduled to be operated throughout August by an A330 and a Boeing 737 MAX 8. But as all MAX 8 aircraft are currently grounded, this may change. The route is currently operated twice a day by an A320-200.
Air Canada’s Airbus A220
The A220 is Air Canada’s newest arrival. It only received delivery of its first A220 in December 2019. The inaugural flight didn’t happen until mid-January. The airline has 45 of the aircraft on the way and will be used by the airline to expand and develop its network in North America. It already operates to more than 120 destinations in North America.
The new A220 will be the only plane on the Montreal-Los Angeles route which offers Wifi. Another benefit of flying on the A220 is the mood lighting the cabin, the extra legroom, larger seats in business class and the touchscreen TV. It’s also a much quieter plane due to its efficiency as well as having larger windows and over-head baggage storage.
Air Canada’s fleet
Air Canada has an order for 45 A220 which will be delivered in the coming years. Currently, it only has two of the 45. It has said that by introducing the A220 it will be able to phase out its older and smaller Embraer E190s. The E190s only seat 97.
Initially, it was though the A220s could be used as a replacement for the grounded MAX of which Air Canada has another 37 on order. According to the official Air Canada website, it has 24 which are currently grounded. The airline has been clear that the A220 is being used to improve its network and expand operations rather than fill the gaps left by the MAX.
The current summer schedule includes the MAX and assumes it will be operational by then. If it is not operational, then Air Canada will be forced to either cut rates and capacity or, find aircraft. As more A220s are delivered it could refrain from retiring other aircraft in order to maximize its capacity, but as we’ve already discussed, it had originally planned to retire its E190s which carry less than 100 passengers. The MAX can carry 169.
The Air Canada A220s are a very exciting addition to the fleet and there is no doubt that regulars on the Montreal – Los Angeles route will be thrilled to fly the A220. But we will have to keep watching to see how the rest of Air Canada’s A220s are deployed upon delivery if the MAX continues to be grounded.