A sponsored exclusive viewpoint article by Steve Gerrard, General Manager Sales, UK and Ireland at Air Canada
We are very proud to be recognised as the 'Best Airline in North America' for the second consecutive year by the highly respected Skytrax World Airline Awards. This prestigious accolade is based on passenger satisfaction surveys carried out across approximately 20 million global travellers, demonstrating that Air Canada is truly a passenger favourite around the world. It is great to see our 30,000 employees across our global network unite and work together to deliver superior service, safely transporting over 48 million customers per annum to their desired destinations.
What benefits have your customers seen?
This is the seventh time in the past nine years that Air Canada has been selected for the award and the result this year is seen by many in the industry as a reflection of our continued investment in customer service training, fleet renewal, global network expansion, enhancement of onboard comfort with our new Premium Economy seat and the recent launch of our Air Canada Signature Service.
This spring, we launched our new Air Canada Signature Class that replaces International Business Class on international flights and Business Class on transcontinental flights, offering an enhanced and seamless premium travel experience. Customers are provided with exceptional comfort and a lie-flat seat, with quilted mattress pads, plush duvet blankets and oversized pillows making sleeping even more comfortable. Customers can also enjoy our WANT Les Essentiels amenity kit and vitruvi skincare products. With an Air Canada Signature Class ticket, customers will not only be able to take advantage of priority check-in, security clearance, boarding and baggage handling, but also Maple Leaf Lounge access.
What do you need to do to maintain and improve on this?
We will continue to improve our network. Our Canadian gateway hubs enable customers to connect to more than 220 cities across Canada, United States, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. From the UK, we offer more daily flights to Canada than any other airline, with up to 62 nonstop flights per week to seven major Canadian cities scheduled from London Heathrow Airport this winter. Sustaining the highest standard of onboard product, cabin staff and ground services is one of our key goals as we progress with our vision of transforming ourselves from a Transportation Company to a Customer Service Company.
At Air Canada, the future is here already, and we look forward to introducing further enhancements for customers, such as the current roll-out of satellite Wi-Fi on our widebody fleet, delivery of two 787 Dreamliners scheduled for 2019 bringing our total 787 fleet to 37 aircraft, as well as the delivery
of the new Airbus A220-300 aircraft next year. We also look forward to launching our new loyalty programme in 2020, which will offer additional earning and redemption opportunities through an advanced digital experience.
What difference has this made to your relationships with corporate travellers?
Corporate travellers are now able to benefit from more travel choice and an enhanced service. The new Air Canada Signature Service expresses Air Canada's dedication and commitment to premium customers. Our new Signature Class cabin features spacious Executive or Classic pods, with lumbar support and massage function, which convert to a fully flat bed: up to 203.2 cm (6' 7") long. This provides customers with the personal space they need to work or sleep comfortably, or simply enjoy our personal touchscreen entertainment system featuring hundreds of hours of top-rated movies, music, TV, podcasts, audio books and more. The continuous enhancement of our onboard amenities such as signature dishes prepared by Chef David Hawksworth coupled with wine pairings by world-renowned sommelier Veronique Rivest, ensure the needs of any corporate traveller are fulfilled.