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Air Canada Eliminates Premium Economy Product in North American Routes

As of November 4, 2014, Air Canada (IATA Airline Code – AC) will no longer offer the Premium Economy (PE) product within North America on its Boeing 777-300ER and 787-8 aircrafts.

Right now, these aircrafts are used more regularly between Toronto Pearson International Airport (IATA Airport Code – YYZ) and Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

AC’s Premium Economy product was first introduced when it received the first of five 777-300ER aircrafts (they are also known as 777HD for high density given its 458 seat configuration). The product was also implemented on its 787 planes.  Premium Economy features additional pitch (up to 8 inches), width (up to 2 inches) and recline (up to 5 degrees) against regular economy seats.  More information can be found here.

Air Canada will no longer provide Premium Economy product in North America
Air Canada will no longer provide Premium Economy product in North America. Image taken from http://gofar.aircanada.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/B787-Premium-Economy-1836.jpg on November 5, 2014.

Other benefits include free checked bags, priority check-in and boarding and extra miles.

Analysis

Since AC does not have a Premium Economy product across its entire fleet (only the aforementioned international 777-300ER and 787-8 aircrafts have them), it confuses passengers when they pay more money for a product that may not be  available when an aircraft goes into an irregular operation.  Given this is not widely marketed due to lack of availability, revenue generated may not have met expectations.

It is a smart strategy to remove this product and relaunch only if AC decides to incorporate PE into its entire fleet. This may occur when the Boeing narrowbody aircraft 737-MAX is introduced to replace the current Airbus A320 family planes used domestically. (Refer to link for the news).

Additionally, Aeroplan (TM) Elite members and full fare economy passengers will now gained access to these seats as they are labelled as Preferred Seats.

Final Call

If you purchased a PE ticket for North American travel after November 4, 2014, you should contact Air Canada immediately for new arrangements as the product will no longer be provided. The seats will be sold as regular economy seats without the additional benefits.

 

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