Air Canada Introduces Upgraded Airbus A321 with Advanced Cabin Technology

by Anshul
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a white airplane on a runway

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Air Canada has officially unveiled the modernized cabin for its upgraded Airbus A321 and A320 narrow-body fleet. This initiative enhances passenger experience and aligns with environmental goals for the company. To better understand the scope of fleet upgrade and its timeline, here is a four-minute video of Mark Nasr (Executive VP, Marketing and Digital, for Air Canada) from a recent chat with PMB.

Upgraded Airbus A321

New cabin interior of Airbus A321s and A320s (CNW Group/Air Canada)

For the upgraded A321’s, the fundamental changes in the upgraded cabins include:

  • Larger Overhead Bins: Based on the Airbus Airspace XL design, these new bins will accommodate more luggage, streamlining the boarding process.
  • New Seating: the new cabin includes updated ergonomics to optimize passenger comfort and personal space. Additional storage has also been integrated to enhance convenience.
  • In-flight Entertainment System: A notable feature is the inclusion of exterior cameras, which offer passengers real-time flight views. The system also supports Bluetooth audio connectivity, allowing passengers to use personal headsets.
  • Internet Connectivity: Air Canada has already introduced free high-speed internet and text messaging services for all Aeroplan members, sponsored by Bell, ensuring passengers stay connected during their flights.
  • Mood Lighting: The cabins are equipped with full-color LED mood lighting, adjustable for different flight phases and times of day.
  • Power Options: Every seat, regardless of class, will have access to power outlets, USB-A, and USB-C ports.

The first flight with the upgraded cabin, AC692, operated with Fin 451, took off recently, allowing passengers to experience the new camera feature that showcases views similar to what a pilot sees during take-off.

Camera View on Upgraded Airbus A321

Exterior camera view on IFE seatback screen (CNW Group/Air Canada)

By the end of 2025, all 14 of Air Canada’s Airbus A321s and its eight A320s will undergo this retrofitting. The goal is to align the experience of these aircraft with that of the Airbus A220 and Boeing 737 MAX, which already make up a significant portion of Air Canada’s narrow-body fleet.

Environmental efficiency is expected to be an added advantage of this new cabin design. According to Air Camada’s news release, the design reduces the A321’s weight by approximately 240 kilograms. This reduction is projected to save more than 2.4 million litres of fuel annually, leading to a decrease in GHG emissions equivalent to the annual electricity usage of over 4,000 Canadian homes.

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