July 24 2020  |  Airline & Terminal News

Air Canada opens YYZ lounge, signs on new chef

By Rick Lundstrom

Air Canada today announced the gradual re-opening of its Maple Leaf Lounges, and a partnership with a famous Montreal chef who will develop meals for the airline’s Economy Class and Premium Economy.

The Maple Leaf Lounge has new biosafety protocols. The Lounge at Toronto Pearson, D gates re-opened today for passengers on domestic or international flights. Montreal and Vancouver lounges are set to re-open in the coming weeks.

"The Maple Leaf Lounge experience has been completely re-thought with a range of industry-leading biosafety measures in place for the safety of customers and employees alike. We are introducing electrostatic spraying in our Lounges as part of our significantly enhanced cleaning procedures for additional peace of mind, and launching new touchless processes, such as the ability to order pre-packaged food directly to your seat from your smartphone. When the Air Canada Café reopens later this year, customers will also benefit from touchless self-entry, a process which we are looking to implement at other lounges. We will progressively re-open other Maple Leaf Lounges throughout our network starting with Montreal Trudeau Airport and Vancouver International Airport by early fall in time for the expected resumption of more business travel," said Andrew Yiu, Vice President, Product, at Air Canada, in today’s announcement.

Air Canada's Maple Leaf Lounge incorporates several multi-layered biosafety measures. Among them are: mandatory face coverings for visitors and employees, plexiglass partitions at welcome desks, food and refreshments pre-packaged to-go and a modified assisted beverage service. Lounge attendants will continuously clean seating and restrooms. Enhanced cleaning measures include using electrostatic units and medical grade disinfectants. The new lounge services will also offer several touchless features, including presentation of all reading materials in digital format through PressReader.

Air Canada also announced today a new partnership with Chef Jérôme Ferrer, who will design meals for the airline's Premium Economy and Economy Class passengers on all flights departing Canada for Europe and Asia, as well as Australia and South America, once those flights resume.

Ferrer will join Canadian Chefs David Hawksworth, Antonio Park and Vikram Vij, whose meals will be offered once more on Air Canada flights beginning later this month as the airline begins to restore its onboard service program.

"It is an honor for us to partner with the internationally renowned and talented Chef Jérôme Ferrer," said Yiu. "Chef Ferrer is known for his sustainable, imaginative, global yet Canadian approach to food, and he becomes the fourth member of Air Canada's panel of distinguished Canadian culinary talent. We look forward to presenting his unique, innovative creations to customers travelling in Premium Economy and Economy Class on our international flights departing Canada. We are the first North American airline to partner with a celebrated chef to curate complimentary meals in Economy Class, affirming our ongoing commitment to customer service excellence and continuous investment in all of our products and services."

"This is a very exciting moment for me!" said Chef Jérôme Ferrer. "As an international chef, it's a great privilege to become a culinary ambassador and share my cuisine with Air Canada's customers, but also to be part of their journey. I can't wait to share my savoir-faire, my creativity and transport you on my culinary odyssey. Who knows, we may have the opportunity to meet onboard somewhere around the world on Air Canada's wings."

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