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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Air Canada First Boeing 787 Dreamliner Delivery

After waiting seven years, Air Canada executives will finally head to Seattle this weekend to pick up a Boeing 787 plane, the first of 37 Dreamliners on order.

“We’re extremely excited. It’s going to be a big winner for us,” said Ben Smith, Air Canada’s chief commercial officer, in an interview.

The jet is expected to land on Sunday at Toronto’s Pearson airport. On board will be CEO Calin Rovinescu along with 100 employees including 50 who won a contest for a seat on the inaugural flight.

“When you’re in this industry, it doesn’t happen very often,” said Smith, of the chance to bring back a brand-spanking new plane. “Last time, I got to do that was in 2007, when we took our first Boeing 777.”

For Air Canada, the Dreamliner is critical to the airline’s international expansion plans. Made of composite materials, the plane has a much longer range, but burns 20 per cent less fuel, making it more cost-effective, given fuel is the biggest expense for any airline.

The Dreamliner’s 251 seats are also seen as advantageous on routes where it may be harder to fill 300 to 450 seats on a Boeing 777.

“This airplane on its own is a fantastic airplane,” said Smith. “But what’s so special and so unique for Air Canada is the airplane perfectly sized, as if it was custom made for us.

“You don’t get to custom make an airplane, but every once in a while an airplane is built so perfectly for your marketplace that you get an extra special edge,” he said.

The 787 will offer three cabin classes – business, premium economy and economy.

In the coming weeks, passengers flying on domestic routes as well on flights to London and Zurich may find themselves on the newest 787, as the airline tests out the plane.

When it goes into official service on July 1, it will be used on a new Toronto to Tokyo-Haneda route, an airport that is closer to the downtown core than Tokyo’s Narita airport. It will also be used on the Toronto-Tel Aviv route.

Air Canada will have three 787s by July, six by year’s end. Then, the airline will get seven to nine planes a year, going forward, until it has its full fleet of 37.

“It fits well with the types of routes we want to go into, plus our existing routes,” Smith said. “We’ll be flying this plane, across the Atlantic, across the Pacific, down to South America.”


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Live to love and love to live. The motto that I held on my entire life. Just a regular guy who loves what I am passionate in life. A song writer and producer. Living life on the move. From Malaysia to The States, New Zealand to Singapore. With the companion of great people in life. In and out from the music industry. Taking everything one step at a time. 
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