Air Canada has unveiled its first upgraded Airbus A321, showcasing a series of innovative features designed to enhance the passenger experience from nose to tail.
On a recent flight operated by this aircraft, passengers aboard Air Canada flight AC692 were treated to a pilot’s eye view of the take-off, thanks to new exterior cameras connected to the aircraft’s seatback entertainment system.
This new camera feature, a first for a narrow-body aircraft, is part of Air Canada’s ongoing commitment to investing in customer comfort across its fleet of Airbus A321s and A320s. The upgrades include a new cabin interior, the introduction of new technologies and services such as Bluetooth audio, and complimentary high-speed internet sponsored by Bell.
Mark Nasr, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Digital, and President of Aeroplan at Air Canada, expressed his excitement about the new offerings. “These upgraded fleet interiors will align the A320s and A321s to the highly popular A220 experience, further strengthening our industry-leading product offering,” he said. Nasr also highlighted the new in-flight entertainment system, Bluetooth connectivity, and fast internet connectivity as features that will be extremely popular with travelers.
Key highlights of the new cabin features include:
- Larger overhead bins: The latest Airbus Airspace XL design, which will also be installed on the Airbus A321XLRs.
- Upgraded seating: A standardized product across Air Canada’s narrowbody fleet in both Business Class and Economy, designed to optimize passenger personal space, improve ergonomics, and provide more storage.
- Bluetooth audio: A Bluetooth-enabled seatback monitor allowing customers to connect their personal headsets.
- New exterior cameras: A first-in-class narrowbody tail and belly camera system providing high-resolution, real-time video of the aircraft exterior.
- Full color LED mood lighting: A new cabin lighting system to set different ambiances depending on the time of day and flight phase.
- Fast and reliable Wi-Fi: Upgraded satellite-based connectivity.
- Power options at all seats: Access to power outlets, USB-A, and USB-C for all customers.
The new in-flight entertainment system will feature Air Canada’s award-winning content, offering the most extensive selection of any airline in the Americas. Live TV will also be available on flights operated by this aircraft, including when flying over the US.
The remaining 14 Airbus A321s and eight A320s in Air Canada’s fleet will undergo retrofitting from this fall through to the end of 2025. These upgrades will align the narrow-body cabin experience with that of the Airbus A220 and Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which comprise the majority of Air Canada’s narrowbody fleet.
Additionally, the new cabin reduces the overall weight of the A321 by approximately 240 kilograms, resulting in a reduction of more than 2.4 million litres in fuel consumption and a decrease of 6,256 tCO2 equivalent in GHG emissions per year for the entire fleet once the upgrades are complete.