Travellers flying with Air Canada between Vancouver and Hong Kong will be able to experience the airline’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft throughout the winter season as the aircraft is set to take over the route from the current 777-300ER.
The Dreamliner will fly the daily route from October 29, 2018 until March 30, 2019.
The change of aircraft will mean a significant drop in overall capacity on the 13-hour flight. Air Canada’s 777-300ERs are configured in two variants, each with more than 400 seats, while the Dreamliner has just 298 seats overall.
Fortunately for premium passengers, this drop is largely in the economy class cabin with just a slight decrease in the premium cabins. The Dreamliner has 30 seats in business class compared with 28 or 40 on the 777-300ER, depending on the configuration, and 21 seats in premium economy versus 24.
For travellers, the changes largely will be with the overall aircraft experience rather than the seat products. The newer Dreamliner arguably offers a better flying experience with such features as superior atmospheric pressure and humidity control, and smart glass windows that darken to allow passengers to adjust the amount of sunlight that is let through.
As for the seats themselves, both Air Canada’s Dreamliner and the 777-300ER feature similar seat products in business, premium economy and economy.
The main difference passengers can expect from the Dreamliner compared with the 777-300ER in terms of seats is in the configuration of the premium economy and economy class cabins.
In both classes, the 777-300ER has more seats per row than the Dreamliner – 2-4-2 versus 2-3-2 in premium economy and 3-4-3 versus 3-3-3 in economy. This means the Dreamliner has fewer seats per row that lack direct aisle access.
In the business class cabin, seats are fully flat and laid out in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration, meaning all passengers get direct aisle access.
Back in April this year, Air Canada unveiled its new Signature Class offering for premium passengers that included the introduction of new ground services such as concierge and priority baggage handling and security clearance at airports, as well as greater access to lounge facilities.
As part of its switch to the Dreamliner on the Vancouver-Hong Kong route, Air Canada is also offering 5 per cent off fares from Hong Kong to 10 US cities that transit through Vancouver, taking advantage of pre-clearing services for US customs at Vancouver Airport.
Ending September 30, the offer extends to all classes on flights from Hong Kong to Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Palm Springs (PSP), Portland (PDX), San Diego (SAN), San Jose (SJC), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), and Sacramento (SMF).