Toronto - Air Canada is now entering the next phase of its transformation with the scheduled entry into service of its new Boeing 737 MAX 8.

This morning, on December 11, Flight AC137 (Toronto - Calgary) was the first flight operated on the fuel-efficient 169-seat aircraft, featuring Air Canada's next-generation on-board entertainment system, spacious upper containers, and the Boeing Sky Interior cabin.

It's always exciting for an airline to add a new aircraft type to its fleet, and we know that our customers will also be attracted by the Boeing 737 MAX, which will become the backbone of our single-aisle fleet in North America. This new aircraft marks the launch of the next generation of our on-board entertainment system. In addition, passengers will be able to store their cabin baggage in the spacious upper containers with enough space,
said Benjamin Smith, president of Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.

The 737 MAX is quieter and more energy efficient than the single-aisle that it replaces, which is good for the environment. In addition, the increased range of the aircraft will allow us to compete more effectively by creating new routes in North America and offer new services to selected international destinations. In addition to our Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft fleets, the addition of the 737 MAX will also allow Air Canada to operate one of the most modern airlines in the world,
added Smith.

Air Canada has placed a firm order for 61 737 MAX. The planes are expected to be delivered by 2021, of which the 18 are to be added to the fleet by the end of 2018. The first scheduled flights in North America include the routes to Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, and Montreal.

The aircraft is also expected to operate internationally for flights to Keflavik, Dublin, and Shannon starting from the summer of 2018. Air Canada has configured the 737 MAX to offer services in two classes. Business Class (in North America) and the economy class.

Here are some of the features of the new 737 MAX 8: enhanced comfortable seating and a welcoming atmosphere created by the innovative LED lighting on the aircraft's ceiling (Boeing Sky Interior); upgraded on-board entertainment system with a streamlined and up-to-date user interface in 15 languages; Audio and video streaming with personal mobile devices; Faster Wi-Fi service with antennas offering the industry's highest bandwidth available in early 2018; Additional storage space in the upper containers for cabin baggages; New generation silent engines that reduce noise by up to 40%, giving passengers more peaceful and quiet travel experience during the flight.

The 737 MAX consumes 20% less fuel per seat than the first 737 new generation.