Air Canada today announced that its low-cost carrier subsidiary, Rouge, is expanding to Vancouver and Calgary to serve a number of predominantly leisure markets.
From Vancouver International Airport, Rouge will fly to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Anchorage. Some of the service’s entry into Western Canada will be through the conversion of the airline’s existing routes into the new Rouge brand.
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.
“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 inthe 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.
The flights on the following Vancouver routes will be converted to Air Canada Rouge Airbus A319 service beginning this spring:
Air Canada is attempting to cut $100-million in operating costs (a 15 per cent reduction in costs per available seat mile) over the next five years through the addition of new Boeing 777s, 787 Dreamliners and the introduction of the Rouge brand. Existing Airbus A319s and Boeing 767s are also being used for the new low-cost carrier.
Rouge is designed with 18 per cent more seats, lower wages, lower overhead and more flexible work rules that will allow the service to operate 21 per cent cheaper than airplanes on the regular network. On the widebody 767, the savings are even greater: the planes allow a 25 per cent increase in seating to 264 passengers to reduce costs by 29 per cent for every available seat mile.
If the low-cost carrier proves to be popular and if demand warrants, routes to Europe and Asia could be added.
Featured Image: Air Canada