Air Canada is deploying its fleet of private charter planes on regular domestic and international routes. The private jets are typically used to ferry rock stars like U2, Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen from one gig to the next but now passengers can use them to fly this Christmas.

It's normally touring musicians, public figures and Canadian NBA and NHL teams who charter Air Canada's premium Airbus A319 'Jetz' but now the general public has the rare opportunity to book a seat on board, without forking over a rock star's bonus for the privilege (though it still doesn't come cheap, the flights are priced at premium economy rates rather than economy).

Air Canada will use the jets to fly passengers from Toronto to international destinations including Barbados, Cancún and Florida; from Vancouver to Palm Springs, Phoenix and Puerto Vallarta; and from Montréal to Florida and Barbados. The jets will also fly domestically from Toronto to Kelowna and Vancouver.

Barbados beach
The jets will fly to international destinations including Barbados ©Getty Images

This is the second time this year that the airline's special charter planes have been utilised on regular commercial passenger services. Dubbed 'Covid class', the Airbus A319 has been refitted with 58 seats rather than the typical 120 seats, and passengers can sit by the window or aisle as there are no middle seats on board. Mark Galardo, vice president of network planning and alliances at Air Canada, said customers will enjoy upgraded meal service and other amenities to "create a private-jet-like-experience" including complementary iPads to use for the duration of the flight. To avoid long queues, flights begin boarding only 25 minutes before departure from prime gate locations.

As with all Air Canada flights now, passengers must submit to a temperature check before flying and wear a face mask in the airport and on board their flight.

How this travel couple fell in love while on tour with the Rolling Stones

Modern skyscrapers of busy Toronto downtown
Flights have resumed from Air Canada's major hubs ©d3sign/Getty Images

Canada's land borders have been shut tight since March but air travel is still permitted, provided passengers quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. An exception applies to those arriving into Alberta, where travelers can soon trade quarantine for a COVID-19 test if they receive a negative result.

Customers can book their Jetz flight now for travel during the Christmas period between December 12, 2020 and January 6, 2021, with a second schedule for March in the works. For more information, see here.

This article was first published on June 5, 2020 and updated on October 27, 2020.

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This article was first published Jun 5, 2020 and updated Oct 27, 2020.

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