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Air Canada A345 Inaugural Flight With Pics!  
User currently offlineYul2010 From Canada, joined Jun 2003, 320 posts, RR: 19
Posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 28722 times:

Note: This is my first trip report!

Well, after months and months of waiting, Air Canada was finally going to take delivery of its first A340-500. The delivery flight from Toulouse to Montreal-Trudeau took place on Tuesday June 29th.

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Photo © Alex G.-Denicourt - Contrails Aviation Photography

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Photo © Youri Thonon

On Saturday July 3rd, it was the first scheduled flight for the A345 and it was scheduled to operate as a Rapidair leg: YUL-YYZ. So a bunch of us YUL aviation fans (including FLYYUL) decided to book a daytrip to YYZ, to be part of the inaugural AC A345 flight, and to do some great spotting!

Some booked with WestJet on the return leg, but I decided to go with the 5:00pm AC 1228 flight because of their A330-300... my favorite!

Saturday July 3rd 2004
Route: YUL-YYZ
Flight #: AC 401
Equipment: A340-500
Registration: C-GKOM
Fin #: 952
Flight time: 1:15
Departure Time: 7:00am

Before going to bed on Friday, I made sure my alarm would wake me up at 4:45am on Beyonce so that I can dance myself out of bed singing “Naughty Girl”!

A took a quick shower, made some tea to make sure a stay awake (I’m not a coffee guy), and dressed lightly considering it will be a sunny and hot day in both Montreal and Toronto.
I had asked my mom if she can drive to the airport; I didn’t feel like paying an extra 20$ for a cab ride. Around 5:15, I woke her up and at 5:25, we were out of the house.
After passing by an AMT machine to collect some cash for the day, we arrived at the airport. My mom wished me a nice day, and I was off to meet FLYYUL and the other YULers.


I love self-service express check-in kiosk! I don’t understand why people line-up to get an agent to handle their reservation when you can do it yourself. I asked my friend once, and he told me “I don’t trust machines! I want to make sure I get on that flight!”… I just roll my eyes when I hear that…
Air Canada’s kiosks are in my opinion very good. Any passenger can use them, whether you have a paper ticket or an e-ticket. I had a chance to use Lufthansa’s kiosks in AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA, but only pax with e-tickets can use them.
So, I poped in my credit card, and my reservation came up. I got to choose my seat 37A, behind the wing, to watch the nice flex!

FLYYUL joined me shortly after having checked-in. He choose a seat behind me. We went through security, which didn’t have a long line-up. As I was picking up my bag on the end of the screening machine, the agent asked me if he can take a look at my bag. “Sure” I said. He pointed at this weird looking object at the screen… I had no idea what it was… He then found my pencil case (yes… I forgot to take it out of my bag that morning) and took out my mini-stapler… case solved!

It was a quiet morning in YUL. There was a flight to Vancouver at 7:20, and another to Cancun at 7:40. That was about it, but more A320s were parked at the gates for flights later in the morning… there is a big rush around 9am, with flights to Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Moncton, and Halifax.

We met up with the other YULers at Gate 4 in the domestic wing. It was around 6:00 am, but no one showed any signs of tiredness… we were just all excited!!

I approached the window, and there she was, young, fresh and beautiful! Those engines are sooooooo big!


It was a light load on the flight, around 90 pax only… but hey, it’s a Saturday morning… you can’t expect biz travelers at this time. So a call was given at 6:25 for priority boarding to Elite and Super Elite members, and a general boarding call was given shortly after.
At the door, we were greeted by name by a lovely F/A… a nice touch!
I made my way to the end of the plane, (smiled at a cute F/A on my way…), and I noticed the smell of this brand new plane; quite pleasant!

As I sat in my seat, I was surprised at the amount of leg-room available. PTVs were also a good size…

The crew welcomed us on board, distributed some headsets, and made a couple of other announcements, including mentioning this inaugural flight of the A345.

At my left, it was AC (C-GHLQ) B763 bound to YVR I think…

I quickly went to the right side of the plane to grab some shots… Here we have WestJet 737 with winglets to either Vancouver, Calgary or Toronto and a Mexicana A319 to Mexico City.


We pushed back at 7:00 am on the dot while our PTVs played the safety procedures.

Delta CRJ to Atlanta/Cincinnati and the same WestJet. You could also see the 3 new gates for the new terminal. They start at WestJet’s left wing-tip.

I thought at first we would take runway 28 (a popular runway for West-bound departures), but we taxied left which meant we were heading to taxiway Bravo to catch runway 24R.

“Crew prepare for take-off”.

And here we go! That was a powerful but quiet take-off! We rotated pretty early… this can be explained by the light load on the plane, but these huge RR engines are also awesome!

I was also happy to grab some shots of the new international jetty… to be opened in 2005. The new Transborder jetty is the upper branch.

The suburbs, west of Montreal, aka “the West-Island” (that’s where I live).

The crew quickly served us drinks and a little snack (Banana cake). Enough for a 1 hour flight. My friends on biz class had a full breakfast though (eggs, bread, etc.).

The day before, I had quickly printed an 8 X 10 picture of the AC A345. So after breakfast service, I asked one of the F/As if I can have the entire crew sign the picture. She got excited and said “Oh my God! That’s so cute!” So she ran up and down the aisle to find her fellow crew members to make them sign it. I had a huge smile on my face when she gave it back to me!

And by that time, it was 7:40am, and we were about to start our descent into Toronto.

I took this nice shot of the map.

Downtown Toronto! (Believe it or not, I still haven’t been, but I’m told I am not missing much Big grin ). If I’m not mistaken, this is downwind for runway 06R.

On final… notice the ugly layout of houses… ahhhh, the rivalry between Montreal and Toronto continues!

Touch down! The reverse thrust were really quiet!

Our gate wasn’t available yet, so we waited about 10 to 5 minutes on the tarmac… I was able to grab some more plane pics…

And finally, we parked at gate 124, next to a CRJ.


This was my first time in T-new. I loved it. It was spacious, clean, and structurally pleasing. Yes, it isn’t as pleasing as CDG 2F, but still, it was better looking than YUL!
Right now, it’s a mess for people to connect at YYZ due to the lack of gates for AC. But it will be better as the rest of the terminal is built.

This is the departure hall.

Baggage claim area… simply beautiful.


So all 9 of us rented 2 cars and made our way to 2 aviation stores (including Captain Gomes’!).

And finally, we went to do some spotting. A few YYZers joined us. We go kicked out by cops after a while (losers… they blamed their actions on our Prime Minister Paul Martin, a new low…).
So we moved over to an area right next to it… which really didn't make any difference.

Half of us were on the 4pm and 5pm AC flights back to YUL. So at 3pm, we headed back to the airport, all tanned from a nice day in the sun!

Saturday July 3rd 2004
Route: YYZ-YUL
Flight #: AC 1228
Equipment: B767-200
Registration: C-GPWB
Fin #: 972
Flight time: 1:10
Departure Time: 5:00pm

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Photo © Mike Kay

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Photo © Yevgeny Pashnin

So, as you may have noticed, the aircraft was down-graded from a A333 to a B762… argh!!!  Angry Not fair! Oh well, I’ll be flying on an A333 next week on my Vancouver trip…


Same as the departure leg, I used the self-service kiosks. Very efficient. I got seat 28K. My friend had 12K, and he asked me if I could switch with him, since he wanted to sit behind the wing to take pics of the flaps... Sure! I love bulkhead seats!

Beautiful check-in area.

I made my way to security. It went smoothly, but the agents were somewhat weird… One of them gave me a bad look as I placed my sweater on the belt of the x-ray machine. She took it back, shacked her head, a tried to tell me that I might have dirtied my own sweater by placing it directly on the belt… then she just put in a container and passed it through…. In my head, I was like “this is my sweater, I am allowed to dirty it if I want to!! And for God’s sakes, are you security or my mom??!!”
I don’t know, maybe it’s a Toronto thing…  Big grin

As we waited for boarding, I gave mom a call...
-"So, will you pick me up at the Airport?"
-"Uhhh, no, sorry, I'm busy".

Crap, that means I have to take 3 city buses to go home. (Again, I refuse to spend money on taxis...). Oh well...


This time, the plane was full. But boarding was smooth. Nothing special. The announcements were much more robotic manner this time. Maybe it’s because it was a full plane, and they wanted to make sure it left on time.

We pushed back at 5:00pm on the dot. T3 was right next to me, and I saw LOT 767, KLM 744, Air France 340, a couple of Air Transats 310s, and Olympic 340.

As we taxied, a got a glimpse of Zoom’s 763 to CDG via YUL.

It was a short taxi to runway 06R (same one we landed on), and we quickly started to roll!

Again, downtown TO.

The crew quickly jumped to the snack service. They had a full 767 plane to feed in 40 minutes! We first got ice cream (nothing fancy…), then drinks and peanut bag.

When I finished eating, I grabbed a couple of shots of the cabin Economy class (Damn that stupid camera case!!)

And Biz class. They got a full meal composed of a nice meat sandwhich.

And just as I went back to my seat, the captain was announcing that we will be starting our descent to beautiful Montreal!

Here, we are on downwind for 24R. This is of course an overview of YUL.

Ahhh, downtown Montreal!! Small eh?

Turning base for 24R. This is a better shot of downtown Montreal and the Mount-Royal.

Short final…

And finally, home sweet home!

It was somewhat busy at YUL, since we were during the afternoon rush-hour. Some heavies to note: Air France’s 744 (2nd of 3 daily flight), RAM 767, Lufthansa STAR (albino) 767, Air Canada A333.

We parked at gate 5A. Everyone got off the plane rather quickly. The domestic finger was quite busy. I didn’t check-in any luggage, so I made my way out of the terminal, saluted FLYYUL and the others, and jumped on the 204 city bus line to Dorval Circle.
Connected with the 211 line to the West-Island, and then the 201 to my house.

It’s Saturday night in Montreal. Although I was really tired, I wasn’t gonna stay home that night. So I took a quick shower, dressed up, and got ready to head to the Jazz Festival and to a clubbing night at the village! What a looong day!!

I hope you guys liked this report. Please let me know if there is anything I could improve. I’m going on a trip to YVR next week-end, and then to SIN by the end of the month. I want these to be enjoyable to read.

Thanks for reading!


"Hotel November Oscar clear to land runway 24L"
24 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineUsairwys757 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 28390 times:

REALLY good report man. Congrats on getting on the inagural flight, thats a rare event. I loved all the pics also. Again a great report.  Smile

User currently offlineCOEWR2587 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 607 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 28370 times:

Will the A345 be a regular on the YUL-YYZ? Especially when they get more? A A345 for 90 pax doesn't make much sense.

Newark Airport...My Home Away From Home
User currently offlineWidgetBoi From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1432 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 28367 times:

WOW! Awesome report and great pics  Big grin


User currently offlineCOAB767 From Guam, joined Nov 2003, 1377 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 28329 times:

Hey awesome report and great pics. Glad you got to enjoy the inaguraul flight of the AC A345.!!!

Continental Micronesia: "Fly With The Warmth Of Paradise"
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 24473 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 28328 times:

COEWR- In a word, no. The flight is normally mostly narrowbodies with an occasional A330 or 762/3.

I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineDc863 From Romania, joined Jun 1999, 1579 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 28327 times:

Great job getting the crew to autograph that photo. It should be worth something when the A340-500s are stored at Marana years from now.

User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4785 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 28273 times:

Wow... Toronto's airport is BEAUTIFUL! Somehow, I thought the 2 control towers look alike in YUL and YYZ...

Lovely report.

Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlinePilatusguy From Switzerland, joined Jan 2004, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 28147 times:

Great trip report!

I must have seen you in Toronto...we probably checked in around the same time at YYZ that day. I was one of the million people queing for the LH401 check-in (trip report to follow) at T1.

User currently offlineYUL2010 From Canada, joined Jun 2003, 320 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 27997 times:

Thanks for the comments guys!

The aircraft was supposed to be an A320. But the A345 had to get to Toronto so that it starts its YVR route. Later on, it will be used on the HKG route.

Yeah I know! The YULers were pretty happy to see it afterwards as well. I'm gonna make copies and give it to them.

I wish YUL could look as beautiful as YYZ. Once the International terminal is finished at YUL, it will look much better. But personally, I love "white" airports... it looks so fresh! I'll have pictures of YUL in my next trip report next week hopefully.

We saw your plane! It was the first time I see the A346 with my own eyes... it's pretty impressive! Hope you had a nice flight!

Again, thanks for all the nice comments!


"Hotel November Oscar clear to land runway 24L"
User currently offlineCaptaingomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days ago) and read 27668 times:

Really terrific report. I'm glad you had a nice time at YYZ, and also a great flight on the A345. Nice meeting you as well!

"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
User currently offlineMIASkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1425 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 27613 times:

Awesome Pics...!!!! Great Report...glad you had an awesome trip.

Nothing better than making love at 35K Feet!
User currently offlineScottysAir From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 27609 times:

Great trip report and I am really like with all of those pictures with them. I am sure you can do it for next trip from YYZ-HKG very soon and talk ya later!

User currently offlineBubbinski From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 27576 times:

That was a very good trip report with lots of pics, thanks! I wouldn't mind visiting Toronto and Montreal some day. I also wouldn't mind flying on the Air Canada A345's with the PTV's in the seats.


"Simplify" - Thoreau
User currently offlineMhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 23
Reply 14, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 27361 times:

Great report and photos - did AC not do anything special for such an event? I would have expected a water salute or something at the gate for such a flight, but it appears it passed fairly quietly!

No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
User currently offlineYUL2010 From Canada, joined Jun 2003, 320 posts, RR: 19
Reply 15, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 27257 times:

It was a pleasure meeting you too! And the Qatar DVD is awesome!!

Unfortunately, there was nothing special for the flight. I was expecting something as well, but there was only a small mention of the new plane in the announcements at the gate, and on the flight. I don't know why... Well, if it weren't for us plane geeks, the inaugural flight would have been really boring for the crew!!

"Hotel November Oscar clear to land runway 24L"
User currently offlineChris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2825 posts, RR: 47
Reply 16, posted (11 years 10 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 26833 times:

Nice report but the pics have gone???

I would really like to see them!


5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
User currently offlineYUL2010 From Canada, joined Jun 2003, 320 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (11 years 10 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 26796 times:

I have no idea how to fix this problem.... Anyone knows another website where I can store my pictures??

"Hotel November Oscar clear to land runway 24L"
User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 7144 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (11 years 10 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 26652 times:

other site?

Why not http://www.myaviation.net?


wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineGodBless From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 2753 posts, RR: 15
Reply 19, posted (11 years 10 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 26643 times:

Great report! Really enjoyed it. The pictures did really add to this.
The idea to have a AC A345 picture signed is actually a great one. Should have thought of that when I was on the first Germanwings flight from CGN to ARN in March...

Now in less than one month I will fly back home to Canada. Will fly FR.A-LHR-YYZ-YWG. Would be great if they replace the A333 on LHR-YYZ with an A345... I would for sure not be upset!


User currently offlineFlying Belgian From Belgium, joined Jun 2001, 2433 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (11 years 10 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 26402 times:
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Amazing trip report !!!

I hope more and more pictures can be posted on trip reports threads. It adds to the thrill of discovery !!


Life is great at 41.000 feet...
User currently offline9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1805 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (11 years 10 months 16 hours ago) and read 26260 times:

Great trip report, so far all the reports I heard about the 345 has been nothing but positive.  Smile

Airliners is the wings of my life.
User currently offlineT8KE0FF From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2009, 424 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 19105 times:

I HATED my trip wih AC but I really liked T1 at YYZ but there was a huge lack of shops!!

RJ85 E145 E195 A319 A320 A330 A340 A380 B737 B747 B757 B767 B777 B787 DH4
User currently offlineYYZRWY23 From Canada, joined Aug 2009, 561 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 18268 times:

Cool to read a TR on an AC aircraft I never made it onto.
YYZ T1 is great, especially Pier F!!!

Quoting Yul2010 (Thread starter):
Believe it or not, I still haven’t been, but I’m told I am not missing much 

You really aren't, once you see the tower, the Castle, and walk around some of downtown, it sin't really great. Even Yonge and Dundas (main area downtown, near Eaton Center) isn't great, it can get dangerous come nightfall and shootings happen there, not the best tourist area unfortuantely (but lucky for me, I live north of teh city).

Quoting Yul2010 (Thread starter):
notice the ugly layout of houses… ahhhh, the rivalry between Montreal and Toronto continues

The developments close to YYZ aren't exactly the nicest layout or pattern, they are just a mass development. Very dense, except a nice view of approaching airplanes  Wink .

I live under the approach to Runway 23 about 27km from the airport, which is a much nicer development, less crowded and good property values. Let the rivalry continue!!!!


If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.
User currently offlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3453 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 16859 times:

I dont understand why AC retired that nice,new aircraft. If Dougie was smart enough, he would have bought some of ACs 340s for PHL-China

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