The three aircraft of Air Canada’s special charter branch Jetz will be used for commercial passenger service beginning on June 1st. Normally, the brand’s small fleet of A319s are only available through private booking and a hefty price tag. Now, the same aircraft that have flown Bruce Springsteen, U2, and the Spice Girls, will be used for regular services out of Toronto, going to Montreal and Ottawa.
Canada’s largest airline has changed significantly since the beginning of this pandemic. The airline has suspended the majority of international flights and now mainly operates basic services across the country. It has also retired many of its older aircraft, including its Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767s, Airbus A319s, and Embraer 190s.
Now, another change is in the air. The airline’s special charter planes will be used on commercial passenger service out of Toronto, flying to both Montreal and Ottawa.
Fly like a rock star or professional athlete
Used to fly pro sports teams and touring musicians across the country, Jetz’s aircraft have seen very little demand since COVID-19 started. The aircraft are configured to be all-business-class – to domestic standards at least (no lie-flat pods here!). In fact, on the airline’s booking website, the flights are listed as “Premium Economy.” This simple move will go a long way in terms of expectation management!
“The spacious cabin configuration has 58 seats and provides more comfort and personal space with a recliner seat with a 42-49-inch pitch.”
Among the high-profile passengers the aircraft have flown, Air Canada notes Phil Collins, Bruce Springsteen, U2, and The Rolling Stones have come aboard in the past.
Outside of the summertime (“off-season”), the most frequent users of the Jetz jets would be Canadian teams of the NHL (National Hockey League) and the one Canadian team of the NBA (National Basketball Association):
- Montreal Canadiens
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Toronto Raptors
- Edmonton Oilers
- Calgary Flames
- Vancouver Canucks
Additionally, the airline has listed several large multi-national corporations as past clients.
Jetz’ commercial schedule
The A319s of Air Canada Jetz will begin flying on June 1st. Sadly, the aircraft will only be operating on one side of the country:
|AC 490||Toronto (YYZ) 09:20||Montreal (YUL) 10:34|
|AC 491||Montreal (YUL) 16:45||Toronto (YYZ) 18:04|
|AC 492||Toronto (YYZ) 19:05||Montreal (YUL) 20:19|
|AC 493||Montreal (YUL) 07:00||Toronto (YYZ) 08:19|
|AC 496||Toronto (YYZ) 07:00||Ottawa (YOW) 08:00|
|AC 497||Ottawa (YOW) 09:00||Toronto 10:04 (YYZ)|
|AC 498||Toronto (YYZ) 17:00||Ottawa (YOW) 18:00|
|AC 499||Ottawa (YOW) 19:00||Toronto (YYZ) 20:04|
The airline’s website doesn’t note the days of the week for these services. However, we have confirmed with the airline that all of these flights operate daily.
The airline says that these particular flights will depart from “prime gate locations” and begin boarding only 25 minutes before departure. With only 58 seats (compared to the 120 seats on mainline A319s) the airline is highlighting its spacious cabin configuration with enhanced comfort as the key selling points.
Is it worth it?
Looking on the airline’s website, it looks like tickets for these flights are between two and three times the cost of a regular economy class seat. So is it worth the extra cost? Yes and no.
For travelers on a budget, these flights might be a fun ‘one-time’ expense. Normally, to fly on these aircraft one would have to book the entire plane. Therefore, the special experience might be a good one-off – just to see how professional hockey players fly.
However, the routes that these A319s are being deployed on are incredibly short. At 60-75 minutes for a flight, you can save that $100 or $200 and spend it on something better. In fact, we see that the airline’s beautiful brand new Airbus A220s fly on both routes (Toronto-Ottawa and Toronto-Montreal). With a completely new interior and larger windows, it might be more worthwhile to fly an A220 in economy and save the cash!
Would you take this opportunity to fly on these exclusive Air Canada aircraft? Or would you save the cash and fly an A220 in economy? Let us know in the comments!