Aviation lovers are a special breed. With an eye always in the sky, they are often able to tell the model and make of an aircraft simply by seeing and hearing it from a great distance away. They are in their happy place spending a day on a patch of grass at the end of a runway, sitting on the hood of their car, watching planes take off and land, over and over again. They plan their travels around the equipment that would carry them with their destination secondary and they are totally fine with an extra connection or two en route. If this sounds like you, you know exactly what I mean.
What gives airplane buffs perhaps the greatest thrill is their first time seeing a new model in action. As makers Airbus and Boeing continue to outdo each other with their latest and greatest, airplane geeks get to drool over some super planes, and the latest line by the mammoth manufacturers does not disappoint. If you’re looking for the ‘specs’ on the latest in the sky and where to catch them live, then for the love of aircraft, this is for you – enjoy!
Route: Bangkok / Saigon / Manila / Singapore / Taipei – Hong Kong
Airline: Cathay Pacific
- While the A350 doesn’t currently service Canada directly, customers travelling to the above Asian destinations can experience this aircraft when flying Cathay Pacific.
- Cathay Pacific operates this aircraft in a three class configuration, including Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class cabins.
- More than half of the A350’s body is made up of carbon fiber – a first for Airbus. This new material creates an aircraft that is light, fast and more eco-friendly.
- Passenger windows are the largest of any Airbus aircraft, 2-inches wider than the windows of an A330.
- The A350 has very unique, curved winglets that help improve fuel efficiency, enabling the aircraft to fly further.
- You can easily identify the A350 by looking at the cockpit windows, which feature bold, wrap-around windows that look like the plane is wearing goggles.
Boeing 747-800 Intercontinental
Route: Vancouver – Seoul
Airline: Korean Airlines
- Korean Airlines commenced daily, summer season service from Vancouver to Seoul using this aircraft in late June 2016 but hurry, service switches back to a Boeing 777 in early October.
- Korean Airlines operate this route with a 3-class 747-800 featuring their latest First Class product, the Kosmo Suites 2.0, as well as their newest Prestige Class (Business Class) offering with all seats having aisle access.
- The 747-800 is the world’s largest passenger plane in terms of length, beating out the Airbus A380 by 3 meters.
- The upper deck alone of the 747-800 Intercontinental has the same square area as a 737-700.
- The 747-800’s wingspan is as wide as two 737-700s, end to end.
- The maximum take-off weight is almost 1,000,000 pounds which is equivalent to 65 fully-grown male African elephants.
Route: Toronto – Dubai
Airline: Emirates Airlines
- Emirates Airlines operates their Airbus A380-800 from Toronto to Dubai 3-times weekly, on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Toronto. Onwards connections to over 150 destinations globally are available with a simple transit in their hub, Dubai.
- Emirates Airlines were recently voted the World’s Top Airline by Skytrax at the 2016 World Airline Awards.
- Emirates Airlines are the world’s largest operator of the A380-800 with 80 of the aircraft currently in its fleet. They have another 60 on order which would bring their fleet size to a minimum of 140 of the super-jumbos.
- The A380’s wings are the largest ever created and 54% larger than the wings of a B747.
- An A380 is comprised of over 4-million individual components, produced by 1500 companies, in 30 different countries.
- The giant plane has enough space to carry approximately 3000 suitcases and 525 passengers.
Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner
Route: Toronto – London (Heathrow)
Airline: Air Canada
- Air Canada took delivery of their first B787-800 Dreamliner aircraft in May of 2014.
- Air Canada operates the only same day service between Canada and London, UK. Departing at 08:40am from Toronto, you can be in London that same evening.
- They now operate 8 of the -800 series planes, operating domestic, trans-border and international flights to/from destinations around the world.
- By November 6th, Air Canada will operate all four of its daily flights between Toronto and London’s Heathrow airport using the B787 Dreamliner aircraft for a limited time.
- The Dreamliner has windows that are 30% larger than other Boeing aircraft, and a world-first electronic dimming system allowing you to control the amount of light coming into the cabin at the touch of a button.
- The cabin altitude is set at 2,000 feet lower than other aircraft. The result is better oxygen absorption, which in turn means you will arrive feeling fresh and less jetlagged.
Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner
Route: Vancouver – Delhi
Airline: Air Canada
- Vancouver to Delhi is a new route for Air Canada and the first time these two cities have been linked by a non-stop flight.
- The new service is set to begin on October 20th, just in time for the Diwali festival beginning on October 30th.
- Due to the length of this flight, it will be operated exclusively by the B787-900 year-round.
- Air Canada took delivery of its first 787-900 Dreamliner in July 2015.
- They currently have 13 -900 series aircraft in service with confirmed orders for at least another 16 aircraft over the coming years.
- The 787-900 is the stretch, or longer version of the 787-800. It is the latest aircraft in the Dreamliner family of planes and is approximately 7-meters longer than the -800 series model.
- It can carry more passengers and cargo due to its larger size and has an extended range (ER), meaning it can fly further than the -800 version, opening up new destinations.
And there you have it! Our quick guide to the latest aircraft, the airlines that operate them and the routes you’ll find them on. Now, you don’t need to be an aviation aficionado to appreciate a comfortable flight. And remember, travelling on the latest equipment doesn’t cost you any more so if you ever have a choice in flights, you now know what to choose. See you on board!