Air Canada rouge launches with 14 destinations and four aircraft; only Edinburgh and Venice not already served

CEO Michael Friisdahl (left), and VP of Customer Experience Renee Smith-Valade (right) announce the boarding for the airline's first flight to Kingston in Jamaica from Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Canada Day saw the launch of Air Canada rouge, the national carrier's new leisure brand, operating four aircraft on 14 routes this summer. CEO Michael Friisdahl (left), and VP of Customer Experience Renee Smith-Valade (right) announce the boarding for the airline's first flight to Kingston in Jamaica from Toronto Pearson International Airport. Only two of the airline's 14 routes (to Edinburgh and Venice) were not already operated by Air Canada mainline.

Air Canada’s latest leisure brand rouge (remember Tango and Zip?) launched on 1 July, Canada Day. With a fleet of four aircraft (two 142-seat A319s for Caribbean services, and two 264-seat Boeing 767-300s for transatlantic flights), the airline’s summer programme comprises a total of 14 routes, 13 from Toronto Pearson, and one from Montreal Dorval. However, of these, just two (Edinburgh and Venice) were not already served by Air Canada mainline. A summary of the new airline’s network from Toronto Pearson is shown below:

To (Code) Country WF (aircraft) Sector length Competition
Athens (ATH) Greece 4 (B763) 8,148 km Air Transat (1)
Cayo Coco (CCC) Cuba 1 (A319) 2,350 km Sunwing (3), WestJet (1)
Edinburgh (EDI) United Kingdom 3 (B763) 5,361 km
Holguin (HOG) Cuba 1 (A319) 2,557 km Cubana (1), Sunwing (1)
Kingston (KIN) Jamaica 5 (A319) 2,866 km Caribbean Airlines (4), WestJet (4)
Liberia (LIR) Costa Rica 1 (A319) 3,711 km WestJet (1)
Puerto Plata (POP) Dominican Republic 1 (A319) 2,778 km WestJet (2), Sunwing (1)
Punta Cana (PUJ) Dominican Republic 3 (A319) 2,977 km Sunwing (4), WestJet (4), Air Transat (2)
Samana (AZS) Dominican Republic 1 (A319) 2,860 km WestJet (1)
San Jose (SJO) Costa Rica 2 (A319) 3,759 km
Santa Clara (SNU) Cuba 1 (A319) 2,350 km Cubana (2), Sunwing (2), WestJet (1)
Varadero (VRA) Cuba 3 (A319) 2,285 km Sunwing (7), WestJet (3), Cubana (1)
Venice (VCE) Italy 3 (B763) 6,872 km Air Transat (1)
Source: Air Canada rouge, Innovata / Diio Mi for July 2013

In addition, the airline is also offering twice-weekly flights between Montreal and Athens. The level of competition is significant on many of these routes, with lower-cost rivals such as Air Transat, Sunwing Airlines and WestJet being key competitors.

More seats per aircraft to lower unit costs

One simple way that Air Canada rouge plans to reduce its unit costs compared to Air Canada is to increase the number of seats on each aircraft. While Air Canada’s A319s are configured with 120 seats in two classes (14 in Executive Class, 106 in Economy Class), Air Canada rouge’s A319s have 142 seats (18% more), of which 24 have a seat pitch of 35 inches, and 118 are at 29 inch pitch. On the airline’s 767-300s the number of seats has been increased from 211 (24 in Executive First, and 187 in Economy Class), to 264 seats this summer (+25%), increasing to 282 seats from next May. By the end of the this year, a further six A319s should have joined the rouge fleet, bringing it up to 10 aircraft in total.

More “new” routes starting this winter

Coverage of Air Canada rouge’s inaugural flight from Toronto to Edinburgh courtesy of The Edinburgh Reporter.

Air Canada recently confirmed that Air Canada rouge’s winter network would grow to 23 destinations, spread across the Caribbean, Florida, Las Vegas and Mexico (but not Europe). The 767s will instead be used to serve Las Vegas and Montego Bay during the winter season.

Air Canada rouge's total network

Air Canada rouge's total network. European destinations are only served in the summer, while destinations in Florida, Las Vegas and Mexico are added for the winter season.


Comments

Comments are closed