Air Canada announced that its leisure carrier subsidiary, Air Canada rouge, is expanding to Western Canada to serve a number of predominantly leisure markets from Vancouver and Calgary to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Anchorage.
Flights on these routes, currently operated by Air Canada, will be converted to Air Canada rouge service beginning this spring, as will flights to San Diego from Toronto.
In addition, the airline announced that it will introduce new seasonal non-stop service operated by Air Canada rouge between Vancouver and Phoenix beginning December 17, 2014. Existing service from Calgary and Toronto to Phoenix will also be converted to Air Canada rouge.
“We are very excited to bring Air Canada rouge to Western Canada and launch new seasonal service between Vancouver and Phoenix. The expansion of our leisure carrier to Vancouver and Calgary, in tandem with Air Canada’s mainline fleet renewal, is a key element of our strategy for sustainable, profitable growth at both airlines,” said Ben Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “California and the U.S. Southwest are favourite vacation destinations for our Western Canada customers and Anchorage is an important port of call offered with Air Canada Vacations cruise packages. Air Canada rouge is best suited to compete more cost effectively in these markets where there is both a high leisure travel demand and low-cost competition.
“We will continue to evaluate future market opportunities as new aircraft are introduced into the mainline fleet and existing aircraft are released for operation by Air Canada rouge as market demand warrants. Since its launch in July 2013, we have successfully deployed Air Canada rouge to serve Caribbean, European and select sun destinations in the United States. We look forward to offering customers in Western Canada a full range of products and services offered by both airlines, each suited to specific markets on a route-by-route basis,” concluded Mr. Smith.
Air Canada flights on the following routes will be converted to Air Canada rouge Airbus A319 service beginning this spring:
Vancouver to: Las Vegas, NV, daily flights effective April 28. Los Angeles, CA, four times daily effective May 1. Anchorage, AK, daily effective May 16. San Francisco, CA, four times daily effective July 1. Phoenix, AZ, daily effective December 17.
Calgary to: Las Vegas, NV, daily effective April 28. Los Angeles, CA, twice daily effective May 1. Phoenix, AZ, daily effective December 17.
Toronto to: San Diego, CA daily effective March 29. Phoenix, AZ, daily effective May 4; up to three times daily during the winter season.
With the addition of these routes, together with its previously announced summer 2014 schedule to Europe, the Caribbean and the United States, Air Canada rouge plans to operate a total of 54 routes, including new service this summer to Barcelona, Dublin, Lisbon, Manchester, Nice and Rome.
Air Canada rouge operates a fleet consisting of Boeing 767-300ER and Airbus A319 aircraft transferred from Air Canada. By the end of March 2014, Air Canada rouge’s fleet will include four Boeing 767-300ER aircraft and 13 Airbus A319 aircraft, and by December 31, 2014, the carrier’s fleet is planned to consist of eight Boeing 767-300ER aircraft and 25 Airbus A319 aircraft.
Air Canada’s mainline fleet renewal is ongoing with the introduction of new aircraft. In February 2014, Air Canada took delivery of the last of five new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to enter its mainline fleet, and is scheduled to take delivery of the first three of 37 Boeing 787 aircraft by the summer of 2014. Air Canada is scheduled to take delivery of a total of six 787 aircraft in 2014 and the remaining 31 between 2015 and 2019.