First Air Canada flight to Africa affirms city’s strategic role in the airline’s international growth.
Air Canada today announced that it will launch non-stop service between Montreal and Casablanca, the carrier’s first African route and the only scheduled non-stop service to North Africa by a North American carrier. Flights between Montreal and the famed Moroccan city will be operated by Air Canada rouge beginning in summer 2016, subject to government approval.
“Air Canada is delighted to offer its first flight to Africa and it is natural that Montreal should be the departure point for this significant new addition to our international network. The route will be appealing both for tourists traveling to Casablanca and beyond, as well as for the large Moroccan community-based in Montreal. Customers will now enjoy convenient service on the only non-stop flight by a North American carrier to North Africa, with convenient connections throughout Canada and the U.S. on Air Canada’s extensive network. For these reasons, we aim to eventually convert this seasonal route to a year-round service,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.
“By making us one of the few carriers in the world to fly to six continents, our new Casablanca service also represents an important element in our ongoing international expansion strategy.”
“This new Montreal-Casablanca route starting in the summer of 2016 is excellent news for Montreal. The addition of non-stop service to the African continent, presenting numerous business development opportunities, is beneficial for the Montreal metropolitan area. We are also delighted that Air Canada’s new service is to Morocco, a francophone country,” said Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal.
“Aéroports de Montréal welcomes Air Canada’s decision to launch a new direct service to Morocco because it confirms Montréal-Trudeau’s role as a hub between North America and the francophone countries of Europe and Africa,” said ADM President and Chief Executive Officer James Cherry.
The new service will be operated by Air Canada rouge, Air Canada’s leisure carrier. All flights will be flown using a 280-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft offering a choice of premium and economy cabins.
Since 2009, Air Canada has increased its system-wide international capacity, measured by seats, by approximately 50 per cent. This year, Air Canada launched new international services from Montreal to Venice and Mexico City, and it has also announced new service beginning in 2016 from Montreal to Lyon. Today, Air Canada also announced new seasonal, Air Canada rouge service from Toronto to Glasgow, Prague, Budapest and Warsaw.