Long-Haul A321LR: Air Transat’s New Quebec City – Gatwick Route

London Gatwick will welcome a new long-haul route next year in the form of Air Transat from Québec…

Long-Haul A321LR: Air Transat’s New Quebec City – Gatwick Route

London Gatwick will welcome a new long-haul route next year in the form of Air Transat from Québec City. While Québec is more French, London is its largest unserved market.

Air Transat’s Québec City to Gatwick is one of three coming routes for the Canadian airport next year. It’ll be joined by Air Canada Rouge to both Calgary and Vancouver. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr.

What’s happening?

Air Transat has announced its next long-haul route: from Québec City to London Gatwick. Operating once-weekly, it’ll run summer-seasonally from May 22nd until September 28th. When writing, the schedule isn’t available but should materialize in the coming days. The route is “a dream come true,” according to Stéphane Poirier, the Canadian airport’s President and CEO.

In summer 2022, six Canadian airports will be connected non-stop to London, with Québec City joining Calgary, Halifax, Montréal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Air Canada, Air Transat, British Airways, and WestJet will all operate. London to Edmonton, St John’s, and Winnipeg no longer exist, while Ottawa is suspended.

Gatwick will be Québec City’s second Europe route, joining Paris CDG, also served by Air Transat. CDG will resume on April 10th with an initial weekly service before flights rise to twice-weekly in May and three-weekly in June. The leisure carrier has operated the route for many years, and capacity peaked in 2012 with nearly 65,000 seats.

Air Transat
Seen second left with a host of other high-profile people is Stéphane Poirier, President and CEO of Québec Jean Lesage International Airport. Photo: Air Transat.

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London is the #1 unserved European market

While Paris will always be number one, London is Québec City’s largest unserved European market. Booking data indicates that London had around 12,000 round-trip point-to-point passengers in 2019, with more passengers than to Lyon or any other French airport, based on transit passengers only.

Of course, Québec City to London is highly summer-seasonal, with three times as many passengers in the peak month as the nadir. In 2019, the approximate average one-way base fare to Heathrow – where the vast majority went – was CAD$443, excluding taxes and any fuel surcharge.

Air Transat Quebec City to Gatwick
The new route will begin on May 22nd and run until September 28th. Other Canadian airports are shown here for reference and geographic positioning. Image: GCMap.

Gatwick will use the A321LR

Air Transat has 10 A321LRs, each with 199-seat A321neos, complete with 187 in economy and 12 in business (not fully lie-flat). It has a further seven aircraft on order. In summer 2021, the carrier only used the A321neo and ceo, and Montreal was its most-served airport. In May 2022, Air Transat will also add Montreal to Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Although summer 2022 is far from finalized, the new route will be far from Air Transat’s longest, even with the A321. The airline will have 24 A321 routes over 3,000 miles, with Québec City to Gatwick – at 3,125 miles (5,029km) – the 24th longest. And it’ll be shorter than Toronto to Gatwick, Glasgow, and Manchester, and Montreal to Gatwick.

What do you make of the coming airport pair? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Haiwaiian Airlines’ Lie Flat Boeing 787 Business Seats – What To Expect

As Hawaiian Airlines inches closer toward taking delivery of its flagship 787s next year, we now know more…

Haiwaiian Airlines’ Lie Flat Boeing 787 Business Seats – What To Expect

As Hawaiian Airlines inches closer toward taking delivery of its flagship 787s next year, we now know more about the onboard offering. In particular, Hawaiian has gone for a major upgrade at the front of the aircraft in the business class cabin. For an airline that has been historically conservative with its cabins, the choice on the 787 may impress many.

Hawaiian originally planned to take delivery of its first 787 in 2021 but delayed the move due to the pandemic. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines

Aisle access

According to Skift, Hawaiian Airlines has chosen a seat from Adient Aerospace for the 34 lie-flat business class seats on the Boeing 787-9. Arranged in a 1-2-1 layout, these seats will provide all passengers with direct aisle access, already a step up from the aging A330 cabin. However, the seats provide a lot more than just fewer seat neighbors, explaining why Hawaiian COO Jon Snook said the product will leave travelers “blown away”.

Adient Aerospace only lists one seat for long-haul business class, the Ascent. This product offers a pod-style seat that includes a lie-flat bed along with a large surface to store items during the flight. Add a large entertainment screen in the front and passengers are more than likely to have a comfortable flight no matter the length.

Haiwaiian Airlines’ Lie Flat Boeing 787 Business Seats – What To Expect
The Ascent seat is angled toward the windows and is staggered to offer the maximum space to travelers. Photo: Adient Aerospace

The cabin will allow those traveling together to choose center seats that are closer together to be able to communicate. However, for those solo travelers who couldn’t nab a window seat, the other half of the middle seats will be far apart to give you privacy (but closer to the aisle).

If this seat rings a bell for aviation lovers, you aren’t wrong. In August, Qatar Airways debuted a modified version of the Ascent seat on its 787-9s. However, it’s important to note that every airline has the chance to add or remove features from the final product, which means Hawaiian’s cabin could look very different when it rolls out.

Big change

For Hawaiian Airlines the decision to add a full long-haul cabin to its aircraft is a big decision. The airline has historically been conservative with its business class offerings, only adding an 18 seat cabin to its A330s in 2017. Even then, the seats were in a dated 2-2-2 layout, leaving those on longer flights disappointed.

Hawaiian admits that its seats on the A330 aren’t the best but offers a business case for them instead, with Snook saying,

“Our lay-flat product on the 330 isn’t the best in class globally, but it has certainly been very successful in the marketplace that we fly in, given the relatively short stage length.”

. Photo: Getty Images

However, all of this is set to change with the introduction of the 787.

“It’s [the 787] going to be an aircraft we fly long-haul to premium dense markets. It’s really going to be an ideal aircraft for Japan, Australia, New York — markets that will benefit from the comfort that that aircraft provides and the efficiency that it provides.”

Overall, the 787 is shaping up to be an exciting aircraft for Hawaiian. As the flagship, expect to see this plane on routes globally and possibly in domestic markets like Los Angeles or Boston.

What do you think about Hawaiian’s plans for the 787-9? Are you excited to fly this aircraft? Let us know in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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