Air Canada has unveiled plans to begin offering its lie-flat premium product on some flights to Los Angeles.

The carrier announced on 8 April that one of its four daily Los Angeles-Toronto flights will be operated from 1 June with a Boeing 767-300ER configured with "its executive first service with lie-flat suites". An Air Canada spokesman says this is the first time the Star Alliance carrier has "put lie-flats on a regularly scheduled route in the transborder market".

Air Canada's lie-flat seat, which is now on board 53 of the carrier's 56 widebodies including 27 of its 30 767s, has typically only been available on long-haul services to Asia, Australia, Europe and South America.

The spokesman says Los Angeles-Toronto "is a strong business market for us; hence the decision" to up-gauge one of the flights to a 767-300ER from its long-haul fleet.

Air Canada now uses a mix of Airbus A319s, A320s and A321s on the route, according to Innovata. On the flight that will switch to the 767-300ER, which is a 9:10am departure from Toronto and a 12:40pm departure from Los Angeles, a 140-seat A320 is currently used.

The spokesman says 767-300ERs with lie-flat suites will be used year-round on this flight. Air Canada's refurbished 767-300ERs are configured with 211 seats including 24 lie-flat suites.

Air Canada claims it will be the only carrier in the Los Angeles-Toronto market offering a premium product that meets "international premium class standards". According to Innovata, American Airlines is the only other carrier operating non-stop flights between Los Angeles and Toronto. American currently operates one daily flight on the route with a Boeing 737-800.

Air Canada says the introduction of a widebody aircraft on one of its Los Angeles flights is part of a plan to increase capacity by 51% this summer on routes between Toronto and California.

The carrier earlier unveiled plans to launch flights from Toronto to two new California destinations - Orange County and San Diego. Today Air Canada also announced it will add a fifth daily frequency from 1 June on the Toronto-San Francisco route using an A319.

This additional flight will give Air Canada a total of 144 daily scheduled flights this summer from Toronto to the USA, including flights operated by its regional partners. Of these 144 flights, 77 are to California destinations.

Across its transborder network, Air Canada will serve 55 US destinations this summer, including 51 from its Toronto hub.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news