Air Canada starting 1 June plans to fly three modified Airbus A319s with only 58 business-class seats between Toronto, Montreal and Ottowa, aiming to maintain air travel while minimizing the risk of coronavirus infection.
The flights sold through its charter subsidiary Air Canada Jetz will fly one morning and one evening round-trip between the three locations without any middle seats to minimize infections, the carrier announced on 22 May.
The aircraft were modified from a typical 120-seat configuration for business-class charter travel prior to the coronavirus pandemic that led to a sharp decline in air travel since March.
Prior to the pandemic these Air Canada Jetz aircraft flew hockey teams to games across North America. Now that professional sports are suspended along with other public gatherings, Air Canada aims to use its unique assets to offer a safer form of air travel.
“Airlines like Air Canada are trying whatever they can to motivate traffic back into the planes in this transitional period,” Air Canada chief financial officer Michael Rousseau said on 19 May during a virtual meeting of the Wolfe Global Transportation Conference.
The same day that Rousseau spoke, the USA and Canada extended restrictions at their borders to prevent any non-essential travel through 22 June. All arrivals to Canada, including Canadian citizens, are still required to remain in quarantine for 14 days after traveling from international locations.