After a couple of decades of a seeming transition to a Boeing fleet, Air Canada announced last week that it will acquire as many as 40 Airbus A321neo airliners. The airline said it will buy six aircraft, lease 20 and take an option on 14 more. In the past 20 years, Air Canada has purchased almost exclusively from Boeing, although it also bought 45 A220 planes (the former Bombardier CSeries) in a deal that had political overtones. The A321neo buy seems to fit a particular need in Air Canada’s fleet.
The fuel efficient version of the A320, which Air Canada has operated for 30 years, can go 5,000 miles nonstop meaning the airline can offer overseas flights direct from markets that can’t fill a widebody jet on a regular basis. Pundits suggest it will be used on flights to Europe, South America and throughout North America and may also be assigned to Rouge for vacation destination service.