This spring Air Canada’s leisure-carrier subsidiary, Air Canada rouge, is taking over eight routes previously operated by Air Canada from Toronto and Montreal to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, The Bahamas, Barbados, Haiti, Cancun and Tampa.
Together with the leisure carrier’s previously announced 2014 summer schedule to Europe, Air Canada rouge plans to operate a total of 44 routes serving 28 popular vacation destinations this summer.
These will include continuation of its 2013 summer routes ‒ to Athens, Edinburgh and Venice ‒ and new service to Barcelona, Dublin, Lisbon, Manchester, Nice and Rome.
The conversion of additional Caribbean vacation routes from Air Canada to Air Canada rouge service will produce an increase of 22 per cent in available seats compared with last summer’s Air Canada group schedule to the Caribbean.
According to Air Canada, the Caribbean seat increase is greatest from Montreal, which will see an increase of 36 per cent in seats and 20 per cent more Caribbean and Central America flights than last summer.
Air Canada rouge will accomplish the capacity increase by introducing additional flights to Cancun, Port-au-Prince and Punta Cana.
“Customer response to Air Canada rouge for vacation travel has been very positive since it started flying just last summer,” says Ben Smith, Air Canada’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “The addition of more year-round Caribbean destinations to Air Canada rouge’s network is the next logical step, as our leisure carrier enables us to compete on a more cost-effective basis on these routes while leveraging the strength of Air Canada Vacations.
Adds Smith: “Air Canada rouge’s Caribbean services complement this summer’s significant expansion to new European vacation destinations including Nice, Lisbon and Manchester, in addition to new service to Milan served year-round by the mainline carrier. The growth of Air Canada rouge, in tandem with Air Canada’s mainline fleet renewal and international network expansion, continues to be a key element of Air Canada’s strategy for sustainable, profitable growth.”
By the end of March, Air Canada rouge’s fleet will include four Boeing 767-300ER widebodies and 13 Airbus A319 single-aisle jets transferred from Air Canada.
Meanwhile, Air Canada’s mainline fleet renewal is continuing with the introduction of new aircraft. Air Canada is scheduled to take delivery in February of the last of five new Boeing 777-300ER widebodies (all will have entered its mainline fleet since June 2013) and the first three of 37 Boeing 787 Dreamliners by the summer.
Air Canada is scheduled to take delivery of a total of six Boeing 787s in 2014 and the remaining 31 between 2015 and 2019.
For its 2014 summer schedule, Air Canada rouge’s route network to Europe will include flights from Toronto to Athens, Barcelona, Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, Manchester and Venice. Air Canada rouge will also fly from Montreal to Athens, Barcelona, Rome and Nice.
This summer Air Canada rouge will fly from both Toronto and Montreal to Cancun. The Montreal-Cancun route will be a new one for the leisure carrier, Air Canada mainline having previously operated the route.
In the United States, Air Canada rouge will serve Orlando and Las Vegas from Toronto and Montreal; and Tampa from Toronto. This last route is also new for Air Canada rouge.
Air Canada rouge’s 2014 summer Caribbean and Central America services will include flights from Toronto to Barbados; Kingston and Montego Bay in Jamaica; Grenada; Nassau; Puerto Plata, Punta Cana and Samana in the Dominican Republic; Varadero, Cayo Coco, Holguin and Santa Clara in Cuba; and San Jose and Liberia in Costa Rica.
The routes from Toronto to Barbados and Nassau are new for Air Canada rouge, Air Canada having previously served them.
Air Canada rouge’s summer 2014 network to Caribbean and Central America will also include routes from Montreal to Cayo Coco, Holguin and Santa Clara in Cuba; Port-au-Prince in Haiti; and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. All of these routes are new for Air Canada rouge in 2014.
The new Air Canada rouge routes from Montreal, all previously operated by Air Canada mainline, will be converted to Air Canada rouge service on a phased-in basis from March through May as additional aircraft are released by the mainline airline for operation by its leisure wing.
Air Canada rouge’s flights to all vacation destinations can booked with optional Air Canada Vacations packages if so desired. The flights and vacation packages are now available for booking at www.aircanada.com and through travel agents.