Air Canada has unveiled the refreshed economy and business class cabins on an Airbus A321 aircraft. The airline plans to retrofit the remainder of its fleet of A320 and A321 aircraft over the coming years.
Other improvements to the passenger experience include larger overhead bins, Bluetooth audio connectivity, free high-speed Wi-Fi, and exterior cameras.
Air Canada Unveils Revamped Airbus A321 Cabin
Air Canada recently debuted its first refreshed Airbus A321 on a flight from Toronto to St. John’s. The airline will continue to retrofit the rest of its fleet of Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft this fall, and expects to finish the project by the end of 2025.
The revamped cabins feature a number of improvements over the previous product, and brings them in line with the cabins on other newer narrow-body cabins on the Airbus A220 and Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
The aircraft continues to offer economy and business class cabins, which have been updated to feature more modern seats. Once the retrofit is complete, the majority of Air Canada’s narrow body fleet will feature a similar hard product.
Passengers will benefit from larger overhead bins with the latest Airbus Airspace XL design, which will also be installed on the Airbus A321XLRs that Air Canada will begin taking delivery of in 2025.
The latest iteration of Air Canada’s in-flight entertainment system features Bluetooth audio connectivity. Passengers can connect their personal headsets to the system, which will reduce the need for single-use headsets.
High-resolution exterior cameras have been added to the tail and belly of the aircraft, which provides passengers with a real-time view of the aircraft’s exterior and surroundings. It’s worth noting that this is a first amongst narrow-body aircraft.
All passengers benefit from fast and free Wi-Fi, which Air Canada typically charges for on other flights.
Other features include revamped LED mood lighting, which allows for different ambiances, depending on the time of day and phase of flight, as well as power outlets at each seat, including standard outlets, as well as USB-A and USB-C ports.
Air Canada will trial other new in-flight offerings on this aircraft, and will expand the offerings to other aircraft in its fleet as it evaluates the outcomes.
Air Canada Invests in Narrow-Body Fleet
With the ongoing retrofitting of its fleet of Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, Air Canada is aligning and improving the customer experience for a larger portion of its mainline narrow-body flights. It’s worth noting that the retrofit only applies to Air Canada’s mainline operations, and not the aircraft in the Air Canada Rouge fleet.
As it stands, the cabins on the Airbus A220 and Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are modern, while the cabins on most A320 and A321 aircraft feature an older product. Once the retrofit is complete, there will be more of a consistent customer experience, similar to how Air Canada’s Signature Class product is largely similar across Boeing 777 and 787, as well as Airbus A330, aircraft.
Keep in mind that the airline expects to begin taking delivery of the Airbus A321XLR aircraft in 2025, which will add another narrow-body aircraft to the airline’s fleet. However, what’s intriguing about these planes is that the business class cabin will feature lie-flat pods in a 1-1 configuration.
Furthermore, Air Canada is retrofitting the cabins on the Embraer E175 and Bombardier CRJ900, and it’s expected that these will debut in 2024. It has been described as a “new-look business class product”, which may mean it’s the first sign of how the latest generation of narrow-body business class cabins will look.
In any event, passengers flying on a narrow-body aircraft with Air Canada in the next couple of years will enjoy a refreshed experience and a modern cabin.
Air Canada has unveiled a refreshed cabin on an Airbus A321 aircraft, which will be extended to the remainder of the A320 and A321 mainline fleet by the end of 2025. Passengers flying in a retrofitted plane will enjoy modern cabins with new overhead bins, Bluetooth audio connectivity, tail- and belly-mounted cameras, and free Wi-Fi.
The airline is trialling new offerings on these aircraft, and will expand the features to other aircraft in its fleet as it evaluates the outcomes.
Once the retrofit is complete, and as the airline takes delivery of Airbus A321XLRs and retrofits other aircraft, passengers can expect a similar experience across Air Canada’s fleet of narrow-body aircraft.