Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Oct 14, 2019

Oh, what a flight

British Airways launches A350 Toronto route


British Airways’ new Airbus 350-1000 took off from Toronto Pearson to London Heathrow on Oct. 1, marking the aircraft’s inaugural North American long-haul service.

With passenger capacity of 331, including 56 Club Suite compartments, the A350 began long-haul service with Dubai last month, and will add Tel Aviv and Bangalore this winter.

The A350 has already flown over 15,400 miles between London and Madrid, completing 40 take-offs and landings to put the aircraft through its paces, test all aspects of the technical performance and familiarize crew with service delivery.

Luckily for Canadian passengers, Toronto is one of two inaugural long-haul routes for this new Airbus due to a moderate number of daily departures and length of flights. Toronto is often considered the perfect long-haul route for training new British Airways crew and introducing aircrafts.

“We’re thrilled to be launching our new A350 from Toronto, a city we’ve flown to and from for nearly 60 years,” said Gerard McEvoy, VP Sales, North America. “The A350 and our new Club Suite business class seat deliver new levels of sophistication, comfort and privacy, and we’re proud to share this with our Canadian customers.”

The arrival of the A350 is part of a $10.5B investment program, and helps, in part, to celebrate BA’s 100th anniversary. By the end of 2022, it is expected that 17 A350 aircrafts will join the BA fleet.

Designed For Today’s Traveller

The A350 is the first to premiere the new Club Suite in the Club World cabin, British Airways’ latest generation business class seat. Soaring ceilings, reduced noise levels, and ambient lighting to complement the time of day and light levels outside all work to promote a feeling of space and calm.

Plus, an optimized cabin altitude of 6000ft, higher levels of humidity, and refreshed cabin air every few minutes reduce the effects of jet lag, meaning passengers will arrive at their destinations feeling enlivened instead of exhausted.

Set up in a 1-2-1 configuration, every seat has aisle access. And a game-changing privacy door for BA business class means no more crawling over your seatmate or pesky privacy partitions. Your seat is a space all your own. “One of the things we absolutely wanted to deliver for the customer was flexible privacy,” explains Duncan Robertson, Manager of Aircraft Product Development, British Airways. “We wanted to make sure customers had privacy without feeling cocooned, and the only way to do that is with a door. And we feel this is the trend the business class market is moving towards.”

Each of the 56 Club Suite compartments offers direct-aisle access, fully adjustable flat-bed seats,  tons of storage, vanity mirror, available WiFi, personal headphones, and USB outlets. Not to mention the incredible IFE system with 18.5 inch Panasonic touch screen loaded with the latest releases and convenient handheld control console.

When it’s time for sleep, each seat is outfitted with a soft pillow, seat pad, light blanket, comfy quilt, and amenity bag from The White Company. The linens really make for a luxurious ride, even turbulence felt a little more bearable when bundled up in a comfy quilt on a lie-flat bed.

What first-class flight would be complete without a gourmet food and drink experience? Passengers are welcomed aboard with a glass of champagne and bottled water. Overnight service includes an efficient three-course menu, so you can get to sleep as soon as possible, and choice of wake times and breakfast options. The daytime flight has a more leisurely meal service, afternoon tea, and unlimited beverage options.

All this luxury comes at a cost, though. While round trip fares from YYZ to LHR start at a very reasonable C$681 for an economy seat, the Club Suite will set you back at least C$7,245. Using points to fly Club World cabin is strictly encouraged.

With Sustainability In Mind

Right now, you can feel good about flying the state-of-the-art A350 which has a 25% lower fuel burn that drastically reduces CO2 emissions.

For the future, the BA 2119 program, in partnership with Cranfield University, is exploring the future of fuels and the development of sustainable aviation fuels.