Air Canada Business Class
8.5
/10
A great flight you will recommend to friends
Airport Experience
Cabin & Seat
Cuisine
Beverages
Service
Entertainment
Amenities & Facilities
Short & Medium Haul

Review of Air Canada Business Class

BusinessClass.com review by Edward Yang
Updated 1. Dec 2023

With the maple leaf proudly displayed on the tailfin of its aircraft, it is relatively easy to recognise the national flag carrier of Canada – aptly named Air Canada. The airline is the country's largest airline in terms of volume of passengers, fleet size and the number of routes. Air Canada's Signature Class – the airline's Business Class product, offers an end-to-end premium experience with a distinctly Canadian flavour and services nearly 200 destinations in more than 55 countries, including the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the South Pacific.

Air Canada's major hubs are Montreal–Trudeau International Airport, Toronto- Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport. The airline currently operates a fleet of 196 aircraft with a combination of Airbus and Boeing aircraft and is headquartered in Montreal.

Aeroplan – the name of Air Canada's frequent flyer program, is widely considered one of the most versatile loyalty programs in the industry and has approximately 7 million active members. As a founding member of Star Alliance, Air Canada works with dozens of airline partners with whom passengers can earn and redeem miles for their flights, including United, Air India, All Nippon Airways, Lufthansa, EVA Airways, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and Thai Airways.

Airport experience

10/10

Air Canada's international hubs feature the airline's priority services, with Signature Class travellers having access to priority check-in, security lanes, boarding and the airline's Maple Leaf lounges. On the day of travel, Signature Class customers are treated to Maple Leaf lounge access in 16 airports across Canada, the United States and Europe. With Toronto-Pearson International Airport being Air Canada's largest hub and Canada's busiest airport, Signature Class passengers travelling internationally from Toronto can avail themselves of the exclusive Air Canada Signature Suite in the international departure area on the upper level, next to Gate E77.

While the Maple Leaf lounges are comfortable – they come equipped with all the amenities of the modern-day Business Class lounge with ample choices of service food and beverages, as well as showers and business centres – the real treat for passengers travelling in Signature Class is the Air Canada Signature Suite. This marvel of a lounge was created by Canadian architect and designer Heekyung Duquette and rendered with a combination of maple, marble and polished limestone. It features art by notable Canadian artists, including a striking landscape mural by Quebec-based artist Gavin Lynch.

The Signature Suite's absolute highlight is the fabulous, complimentary à la carte menu by chef David Hawksworth - formerly of Michelin-star award-winning English hotel/restaurant Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, L'Escargot and The Square, where true gastronomical wonders can be absorbed before one board the flight. There is also an impressive array of drinks, including Champagne (Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial and Moët & Chandon Brut Rosé), red and white wines (including a 2020 Pinot Noir by Hidden Bench Estate and a 2020 Chardonnay - Domaine Queylus, both from the Niagara Peninsula), cocktails, draught beer, soft drinks, juices, teas and coffees.

International Signature Class passengers flying from Vancouver can now access a luxurious Signature Suite with the same high standards of upscale dining and relaxing workspaces. The lounge is accessed next to Gate 52 on the second floor of the International Maple Leaf Lounge via the same entrance.    

On top of it all, eligible Air Canada Signature Class customers arriving at Toronto Pearson and Vancouver International airports from within Canada and connecting to Asia, Europe or South America will be met by a concierge before being chauffeured to the Signature Suite in an Air Canada-branded electric/hybrid Porsche.

Cabin & Seat

8/10

Signature Class is available on most European, Asian, Pacific, and South American routes and is serviced with a combination of Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing 777, and Airbus 330 aircraft.

The newest generation of the Signature Class seats is called "Executive Pods" and are available on the B787 and B777 aircraft, while an older seat – "Classic Pods" - is currently available on the A330s. Air Canada is already updating the A330 interiors to maintain product consistency across its widebody fleet.

Air Canada's Signature Class Executive Pods are arranged in a 1–2–1 reverse herringbone configuration, regardless of aircraft type, with the only differentiating factor being the slight difference in seat pitch between aircraft. The seats on the B787 come with a width of 53 centimetres (21 inches) and a pitch of 203 centimetres (80 inches), whereas the B777 has a slightly tighter seat pitch at 190 centimetres (75 inches). The older Classic Pods on the A330 come in a herringbone 1-1-1 configuration, with a seat width of 51 centimetres (20 inches) and a pitch of 178 centimetres (70 inches). These are the seats that are in the process of being phased out and updated to the newest Executive Pods. All seats have lumbar support, massage function, and in-seat power supply.

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes images, videos and seat maps for most airlines and aircraft. Search results also include details such as seat pitch, width and recline. This way, you can see the seat and cabin configuration of the flight in which you are interested before making your choice.

 

Cuisine

8/10

Air Canada offers a "dine on demand" service - Signature Class passengers on its long-haul flights can dine whenever at their own convenience. Meals are served on proper tableware, although the courses are all served on the same tray rather than one at a time.

Air Canada's meal service is created by a panel of esteemed Canadian-based Chefs, including David Hawksworth, Vikram Vij, and Jérôme Ferrer. Signature Class passengers on long-haul flights are invited to feast on a delicious meal service that includes appetisers served with fresh seasonal salad and warm bread. A choice of four main dishes typically consists of a fish, beef, chicken and vegetarian option, followed by a cheese selection and dessert. A hot snack option is served mid-flight, and a snack basket is available throughout the flight. A second lighter meal or breakfast is served about 90 minutes before landing. Passengers wanting to rest during the flight can opt for an Express Light Meal Option, served shortly after takeoff and includes an appetiser, warm bread, mixed greens, cheese and crackers and fruit.

Beverages

8/10

In Signature Class, the wine list has been curated by Véronique Rivest, a multi-award-winning Sommelier and one of the most respected sommeliers in the world. Laurent-Perrier Champagne Brut is a staple in terms of the bubbly on offer. Air Canada has consistently stocked two whites, three reds and a dessert wine (usually port) in its offering onboard - with selections from the old and the new worlds. Molson, the Canadian version of Coors, is also offered to provide a taste of Canada. Examples of wines that have been seen onboard recently are Jean-François Mérieau L'Arpent des Vaudons Sauvignon Blanc (France); Catena High Mountain Vines Chardonnay (Argentina); Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir (Canada); Monteabellon, Avaniel (Spain); Domodimonti il Messia Rosso (Italy); Dow's Port (Portugal). Bar service also includes non-alcoholic services such as bottled water, Perrier, Lavazza coffee, black tea, and a range of soft drinks.

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on which Champagne is served in Business Class and First Class on many airlines. We do our best to keep track of any changes, but feel free to let us know if there is something we missed.

Service

8/10

Canada, being a country that is known for its politeness, its national carrier proudly represents the nation in the sky. Air Canada frequently wins awards for its service among its North American peers, with charming and polished crews fluent in English and French.

Air Canada crew wear uniforms designed by Vancouver-born fashion designer Christopher Bates, which were launched in 2017 to coincide with Canada's 150th and Air Canada's 80th anniversaries. The uniforms consist of black and charcoal suits and dresses, silk print ties, scarves, red leather belts, and handbags.

Entertainment

8/10

Signature Class passengers can enjoy films, television shows, music, audiobooks and podcasts via Air Canada's AVOD 18" touchscreen entertainment system, with more than 25 per cent more content available from 2023, including live TV for sports and up-to-the-minute news and Bluetooth audio connectivity. Passengers can now also watch the action from outside the aircraft with tail and belly cameras streamed directly to seatback screens.

Each seat also features noise-cancelling headsets, USB charging ports and power outlets for charging personal devices. There is also complimentary access to 7,000+ magazines and newspapers through the PressReader app. All widebody aircraft come equipped with onboard Wi-Fi, although subscription passes must be purchased to connect to the Wi-Fi.

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi.

Amenities & Facilities

8/10

Italian lifestyle and fashion brand Acqua di Parma provides the new Air Canada Signature Class amenity kit. It includes socks, an eye mask, a dental kit, earplugs, a glasses cloth and Acqua di Parma hand cream and lip balm. Long-haul passengers receive a sanitised pillow, duvet, mattress pad and a CleanCare+ kit containing a mask, antiseptic wipes, a hand sanitiser, and a hot towel service.  

Short & Medium Haul

9/10

Air Canada deploys the A320, A321, B737 MAX-8 and A220-300 on short and medium-haul routes. These narrow-body aircraft come with recliner seats in a 2-2 configuration reminiscent of Domestic First Class within the United States.

Domestic short and medium-haul passengers in Business Class still receive concierge service, dedicated check-in, speedy security lanes and priority boarding and baggage handling. On all flights over 2 hours, an all-inclusive meal tray will be distributed, which includes a hot casserole, an appetiser and dessert, a salad and vinaigrette, cheese and crackers, and a packaged bread roll. Bar service consists of bottled water and Perrier, a full selection of soft drinks, and individual-sized bottles of sparkling, white, and red wine, with your choice of coffee or black tea. A snack choice is also provided before landing. For flights under 2 hours, a pre-packaged cold meal box with breakfast or snack and a limited beverage service are served.

Sustainability

In 2021, Air Canada announced plans to reduce emissions by 20% by 2030 with the further target of net-zero emissions by 2050. The company is signed up to the Clean Skies for Tomorrow Coalition, which aims to increase Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) use to 10% by 2030. In April 2022, the airline celebrated Earth Day by using SAF in four commercial flights from San Francisco to its Canadian hubs. The carrier's Leave Less Travel Program enables corporate customers to purchase SAF, carbon offsets or a combination of both to offset/reduce their emissions and carbon footprint - one of many initiatives in Air Canada's Climate Action Plan.

Air Canada has also agreed to purchase 30 hybrid-electric regional aircraft currently under development and expected to enter service in 2028.

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on CO2 emissions for each flight. Our quality algorithms also give a higher score to flights operated by the most modern and environmentally friendly aircraft.

What We Love

  • The Air Canada Signature Suite - one of the best lounges in North America of any class - it positively reeks of exclusivity - with an excellent à la carte offering by Chef David Hawksworth.
  • Air Canada Chauffeur service - great to see Air Canada resuming this premium shuttle service, now with new partner Porsche.
  • The Executive Pod - a wonderful Business Class product - delivering the requisite luxury and comfort.

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