The Feb/Mar issue celebrates the A220 at Air Canada and Harbour Air’s ePlane. We profile Conair and fly the Kodiak 100 amphib. Plus: Imagine being alone in the air!
Air Canada has been recognized as the 2019 Airline of the Year by Global Traveler, the leading magazine for luxury business and leisure travellers.
“I am very pleased that Air Canada has been named the 2019 Airline of The Year by Global Traveler. The success we have had transforming our airline into a leading global carrier is being recognized worldwide and we continue to invest in new aircraft, onboard services, airport amenities and a new loyalty program to build on our leading position. Mostly, however, this award recognizes the hard work of our employees and their commitment to deliver customer service excellence every day, for which I thank them,” said Calin Rovinescu, president and chief executive of Air Canada.
Global Traveler’s staff submitted nominations to an advisory board, whose members chose the winners based on a series of factors after thorough research. The panel weighed the nominees’ financial data, safety records, product offerings, onboard menus and overall image as a brand before selecting Air Canada as Airline of The Year.
Since 2010, Air Canada has embarked on a $12 billion capital expenditure program to elevate the travel experience which has included:
- An expanded global network connecting over its Canadian gateway hubs to nearly 220 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and North and South America. Air Canada is one of only a few airlines in the world to serve all six inhabited continents;
- A wide body fleet renewal program that introduced Boeing 777s and state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliners and that includes a significant refurbishment of the A330 fleet to the Dream cabin;
- A narrow body fleet renewal which continues this month with the delivery of the airline’s first Airbus A220-300 aircraft;
- Best in class cabin interiors across its wide-body fleet, featuring lie-flat direct aisle access signature class seats and a premium economy cabin offering increased pitch and width;
- Signature class service internationally and year-round on select North America transcontinental flights including between Toronto and Vancouver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles; Montreal and Vancouver; and Vancouver and New York (Newark). Signature class features an end-to-end premium travel experience with exclusive services and amenities;
- BMW Chauffeur Service for select customers connecting to international flights at the Toronto global hub;
- New international, domestic and U.S. Maple Leaf Lounge concepts, including the Air Canada Signature Suite for eligible customers travelling in signature class internationally from the Toronto Pearson global hub, featuring a la carte dining with a menu created by celebrated Canadian chef David Hawksworth; and the Air Canada Café, a first in North America, where eligible customers departing on a domestic flight from Toronto-Pearson can enjoy a premium coffee shop experience with grab and go snacks.
- Enhanced onboard amenities such as signature dishes prepared by Canadian celebrity chefs David Hawksworth, Antonio Park and Vikram Vij, coupled with wine pairings by world-renowned sommelier Veronique Rivest; a revamped Skyriders program with special amenities for the youngest travellers and families; in-flight wi-fi connectivity on all narrow-body aircraft, and progressive implementation onboard the wide-body fleet, complementing Air Canada’s personal seatback in-flight entertainment system, which offers more than 1,000 hours of free digital audio-visual content.
- Ongoing customer service training initiatives for customer-facing in-flight, airport, baggage and call centre employees;
- Technological innovations to facilitate customer interactions, including a new website compatible with all types of devices for a consistent experience, ongoing refinements of mobile technology, and increased investments in artificial intelligence to further develop customer-focused capabilities and information management;
This win builds on other recent accolades such as being named Best Airline in North America for the third consecutive year at the 2019 Skytrax World Airline Awards, as well as the Best Airline for Family Travel by the Wherever Awards and the Favourite Airline for Millennial Travellers by the Trazee Awards. Air Canada was also named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers (2020) for the seventh consecutive year and was recognized for Diversity in Leadership at the 2019 Airline Strategy Awards.