Back in the summer, Air Canada had briefly offered its specialized Air Canada Jetz aircraft on the Toronto–Montreal and Toronto–Ottawa routes.
Air Canada Jetz is the airline’s fleet of all-business-class Airbus A319s that, in normal times, are usually used as charter aircraft for major Canadian sports teams and musical groups, and select travellers (including myself!) had the opportunity to fly on these planes during the month of June 2020.
Well, it turns out that sports teams and musical groups haven’t resumed their charter flying as Air Canada might’ve hoped, because the Air Canada Jetz planes will once again be available to customers during the winter travel period, between December 12, 2020 and January 6, 2021, with a second schedule planned for March Break next year as well.
What Is Air Canada Jetz?
Air Canada Jetz is the charter arm of Air Canada, and its fleet of three Airbus A319s are typically used by professional sports teams and other VIPs to hop around North America.
With the Raptors and Maple Leafs et al. on hiatus for the time being, Air Canada has decided they may as well put forward these special aircraft for regular customers to enjoy.
These aircraft feature only 58 standard recliner business class seats with a 42- to 49-inch pitch, although they will be marketed as premium economy seats, which makes them more affordable to book for the average traveller.
Moreover, the reduced number of passengers means that there will be less waiting time when boarding and deplaning: the Jetz flights will board from prime gate locations starting only 35 minutes before departure.
Compared to the standard mainline Airbus A319s with 120 seats across business class and economy class, the Jetz aircraft are also more conducive to social distancing, as there are no middle seats and a far greater amount of space between each seat.
Of course, as part of Air Canada CleanCare+, the newly established safety and cleanliness standards when travelling onboard Air Canada, face coverings will still be required when onboard, along with a host of other protective measures.
Unlike back in June, the Air Canada Jetz A319s will be deployed on a much wider route network during the winter travel period, giving travellers from all across Canada a chance to sample the experience.
The aircraft will be used on the following routes:
- Toronto to: Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Barbados, Cancun, Kelowna and Vancouver.
- Vancouver to: Phoenix, Palm Springs and Puerto Vallarta.
- Montreal to: Fort Lauderdale and Barbados.
The schedule details for the Jetz flights are available on Air Canada’s website, and look as follows, with another schedule for March Break currently under development:
It’s clear to see that the all-business-class Jetz aircraft are being used as an incentive for Canadians to book travel during the winter peak travel period, including leisure travel to the US and Sun destinations.
While I do welcome Air Canada’s ongoing initiatives to kickstart demand for travel, I can’t help but wonder how many Canadians would still choose to head south this winter in light of the ongoing situation.
For that reason, perhaps your best bet to try out the Air Canada Jetz planes during the winter period would be on the two domestic routes that the plane is being used on: Toronto–Vancouver and Toronto–Kelowna. Jetz service will be available on these flights starting December 22 and December 19, respectively, until January 6, 2021.
The Jetz flights have now been loaded into Air Canada’s booking system for both cash fares and award redemptions. Note that, unlike back in June when they were marketed as premium economy, the Air Canada Jetz flights will now be marketed as business class flights, including for Aeroplan redemptions.
This means that if you wanted to book the Toronto–Vancouver or Toronto–Kelowna services, it would cost you 25,000 Aeroplan miles one-way if you book before November 8, or potentially more points after November 8 once the new Aeroplan launches due to the new dynamic pricing model for Air Canada flights.
How Is the Air Canada Jetz Experience?
You can read a full review of my Air Canada Jetz flight from back in June for a closer look at the experience. Alternatively, you can also watch the following YouTube video I made about the flight (which also happened to be my first flight during the pandemic).
The aircraft interior (including the seats themselves) are a little bit dated, and they don’t really compare to the lie-flat experience you’ll get onboard the Boeing 777 or Boeing 787 Dreamliner. If you’re looking to book the Toronto–Vancouver flights, that’s something to keep in mind, because ultimately the lie-flat pods will be a more comfortable experience.
Having said that, flying on an all-business-class plane was very much a novelty item that I’m glad I got to experience – especially if you choose the seats in Rows 11 and 12, where you get to make use of the communal table that’s used by the Raptors and Maple Leafs for their team meetings.
These days, the meal and bar service is also a little stronger than what I was treated to back in June, and Air Canada Jetz customers will enjoy premium, pre-packaged meal curated by Montreal-based Chef Antonio Park with complimentary drink service.
Eating a cold boxed meal in Rows 11 and 12 of the Air Canada Jetz A319 opposite your companion… I mean, it’s not quite the celebrated face-to-face dining experience onboard Cathay Pacific First Class, but it’s a small measure of aviation novelty in these trying times, and I’d encourage you to give it a try if you’re planning a transcontinental or southern trip this upcoming winter.
With no demand at the moment for their chartered Airbus A319 Jetz service, Air Canada will be continuing to offer regular passengers the unique ability to sample this product on several routes – including domestic flights from Toronto to Vancouver or Kelowna – starting on December 12, 2020 until January 6, 2021 and during next year’s March Break as well.
These flights will be marketed as business class and will be available for Aeroplan redemptions, so if you were curious about the Air Canada Jetz all-business-class experience back in the summer but had missed out on the brief month-long window, then now’s your chance to try it out for yourself.