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Air Canada’s First Refurbished A330 Takes to the Sky

An Air Canada A330-300 (Photo: Air Canada)

Amidst the global pandemic, several airlines around the world are facing many obstacles, including deciding which aircraft should retire from the fleet. In the case of Air Canada, the airline has taken a different approach to this dilemma by celebrating the first flight of its newly refurbished Airbus A330. The first flight marked a special milestone for the Montreal-based carrier, especially during these challenging times. 

The refurbished aircraft registered as C-GFUR, a 20-year-old A330, flew from Montreal to Vancouver on June 24. Air Canada has invested in improving its long-haul business and economy class cabins in recent years, including retrofitting several older jets with its flagship Signature Class cabins. 

As a result, the airline worked with ST Engineering to refurbish the A330, in order to harmonize with the cabin experience and product on the carrier’s Boeing 777s and 787s. The Singapore-based technology, defense and engineering group in Asia played a vital role in this special milestone for Air Canada. 

ST Engineering’s aerospace sector was given the responsibility of carrying out several tasks including engineering and design development, cabin interior parts fabrication, kitting, certification and aircraft installation as well as check tasks on top of interior reconfiguration. Since the completion of the refurbishment, this marked the company’s fourth interior reconfiguration project for Air Canada, offering the airline the opportunity to provide its passengers with an improved cabin experience. 

The A330 refurbished economy cabin comes in a 2-4-2 configuration, while the premium economy product features a 2-3-2 configuration with Signature Class in a 1-2-1 layout, which features the herringbone lie-flat seat design. Each seat is equipped with Air Canada’s brand new seatback entertainment, power outlet and USB charging port. 

In 2018, the carrier made the decision to refurbish its A330s, which accumulated an average age of 15 years old across the fleet. Despite the age of the A330s, Air Canada is undergoing a definite period of change when it comes to its active fleet.

In addition to its plan to add more A330s and refurbish them to replace its now-retired Boeing 767 fleet, the airline has taken delivery of brand new Airbus A220s. While the airline has invested a lot of time and money in improving the seats on its 787s and 777s, this is the first A330 to be retrofitted with Air Canada’s flagship, long-haul cabins. This milestone has given the airline an opportunity to have a robust, young fleet to tackle its obstacles during this period of unpredictability. 

Benjamin Pham


  • Benjamin Pham

    Benjamin has had a love for aviation since a young age, growing up in Tampa with a strong interest in airplane models and playing with them. When he moved to the Washington, D.C. area, Benjamin took part in aviation photography for a couple of years at Gravelly Point and Dulles Airport, before dedicating planespotting to only when he traveled to the other airports. He is an avid, world traveler, having been able to reach 32 countries, yearning to explore and understand more cultures soon. Currently, Benjamin is an Air Transporation Management student at Arizona State University. He hopes to enter the airline industry to improve the passenger experience and loyalty programs while keeping up to how technology is being integrated into airports.

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