Air Canada ordered the 737MAX a few years ago, breaking with their current all-Airbus short haul fleet. The airline has recently announced their intention to fly their 737MAX across the Atlantic. The airline follows the lead of Norwegian, which already announced and started TATL flights with the aircraft. Air Canada, however, is not a stranger to narrowbody TATL flights. The airline has a rotation from St. John’s to London Heathrow on an A319. Besides BA’s A318 LCY-JFK flight, I think that’s the smallest TATL aircraft. Air Canada has now announced which will be the first destinations to be served by the 737MAX across the pond. The flights will begin around the spring/summer of next year. By then, the airline will have received a few of their 737MAX on order.
Ireland in The Spotlight
The first two TATL flights from Canada on 737MAX will be Dublin and Shannon. Air Canada will fly the 737 from Toronto to Shannon on a 4xWeekly rotation. The other destination will be Dublin, which will be flown from Montreal, also 4xWeekly. These flights will have the following schedule:
AC820 Toronto to Shannon departing 10:00PM arriving 9:30AM (+1 day) [T, R, F, Sat]
AC821 Shannon to Toronto departing 10:30AM arriving 12:45PM [M, W, F, Sat]
AC818 Montreal to Dublin departing 9:15PM arriving 8:25AM (+1 day) [M, W, F, Sat]
AC819 Dublin to Montreal departing 10:20AM arriving 12:00PM [T, R, F, Sat]
What I find interesting is that in both cases, the 737s will stay a day idle on Sundays. I am guessing the airline has a strategy for this, but for now it seems confusing. In addition to the 737MAX flights, Air Canada will increase frequencies to Dublin from Toronto. They will add a fourth weekly flight during the low season, increasing to daily during the summer. The airline will also restart flights from Vancouver to Dublin seasonally. This will make Air Canada the North American airline will the most destinations to Ireland.
There isn’t much information about what will the 737MAX interiors look like. I expect them to be similar to the situation of the St. John’s-LHR route. The aircraft has the standard domestic configuration with the standard domestic recliners. If this is the case, it will be sad to see YYZ-SNN and YUL-DUB be flown with sub-par products. Aer Lingus offers lie flats on their 757s and their A330s. This gives them an upper edge when it comes to Canada on some routes to/from Ireland. I expect many more airlines to continue to add narrowbody TATL flights. WOW Air already flies many routes to the US on A321 aircraft. I suspect jetBlue will as well when they get their A321LRs. For now, I would avoid these routes when the 737MAX begins flying.
What do you think? Should airlines fly their narrowbody aircraft across the Atlantic? Would you take a flight on a recliner seat in business class across the Atlantic? Let us know!
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H/T: One Mile at a Time
Images from: OMAAT, Wikimedia