Air Canada Launches Major European Expansion

  • Four new destinations: Milan, Lisbon, Nice and Manchester
  • Non-stop Toronto-Istanbul service expands to daily flights
  • New Premium Economy cabin on select London Heathrow flights
  • Barcelona non-stop from both Toronto and Montréal on Air Canada rouge

MONTREAL, Oct. 8, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada is undertaking a major expansion of international services to Europe from Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. The airline today announced highlights of its Summer 2014 Europe schedule, which includes the introduction of year-round non-stop service from Toronto to Milan, Italy with up to five weekly flights, offering the only non-stop service between Canada and Milan. Flights to this key Italian business destination will feature Air Canada's award-winning Executive First cabin of service.

In addition, Air Canada will increase its year-round Toronto-Istanbul non-stop service to daily flights from three times weekly. The airline will expand the availability of its new international Premium Economy cabin with its introduction on Vancouver-London Heathrow flights year-round, as well as Montreal-London Heathrow flights during the peak summer travel season. Air Canada will also deploy larger aircraft from its international widebody fleet on flights from Calgary to London Heathrow and Frankfurt, as well as from Montreal to Brussels and Geneva in order to meet travel and cargo demand during the peak summer season.

As part of the Summer 2014 schedule, Air Canada's leisure carrier subsidiary, Air Canada rouge, will launch seasonal non-stop flights between Toronto-Lisbon, Toronto-Manchester, Montreal-Barcelona and Montreal-Nice. The new routes supplement the leisure carrier's other popular vacation destinations, including previously announced Toronto-Dublin year-round service, as well as holiday and cruise package options offered in conjunction with Air Canada Vacations.

Seats on these new Air Canada and Air Canada rouge flights are now available for purchase at aircanada.com and through travel agents.

As new Boeing 777-300ER and 787 aircraft enter the Air Canada mainline fleet, Air Canada will continue growing Air Canada rouge to reach a total of up to 50 aircraft, as demand warrants. The growth of its leisure carrier, in tandem with the mainline fleet renewal and international network expansion, is a key element of Air Canada's overall strategy for sustainable, profitable growth, both at the mainline and leisure carrier.

"The expansion of Air Canada's global network to include four new European destinations is a significant turning point in Air Canada's international growth strategy. With the addition of Air Canada mainline service to Milan, a key business centre, and Air Canada rouge service to popular holiday destinations such as Lisbon, Nice and Manchester, we are offering customers great new options when making their travel plans beginning next summer," said Ben Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. "Since the launch of our Toronto-Istanbul non-stop service in June 2013, customer response has been very positive and we look forward to increasing to daily flights with convenient connections throughout the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

"The growth of Air Canada's international network, within forecasts previously announced, is possible due to our ability to deploy capacity and continue growing at significantly lower incremental cost. Air Canada rouge's successful inaugural season underscores its growing popularity among vacation- goers. Similarly, the introduction of our new international Premium Economy cabin has also met with extremely positive customer feedback and we are pleased to continue its introduction with our five specially-configured Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on routes such as Vancouver-London and Montreal-London where market demand calls for a larger supply of Economy and Premium Economy seats, in addition to continuing to offer Executive First business class service.

"As Canada's preferred airline by business travellers, and voted Best Airline in North America for the fourth consecutive year, we are pleased to offer a wide range of premium products as well as high value options together with Air Canada rouge. We will continue leveraging Air Canada's strengths in fleet, product and network while responding to demand on both a price and cost competitive basis to serve customers across Canada and around the world," concluded Mr. Smith.

Air Canada will have taken delivery of five new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for the mainline fleet between June 2013 and February 2014, and the first three of 37 Boeing 787 aircraft by the summer of 2014. Air Canada is scheduled to take delivery of six 787-8 aircraft in 2014 and the remaining 31 787-8 and -9 aircraft between 2015 and 2019.

Highlights of the Air Canada mainline Summer 2014 flight schedule:

Toronto-Milan

  • New year-round non-stop service starting June 18, 2014 with up to five flights per week.  Boeing 767-300ER service featuring choice of Air Canada Executive First and Economy cabins.
Flight # Depart Toronto
(YYZ)
Arrive Milan
(MXP)
Flight # Depart Milan
(MXP)
Arrive Toronto
(YYZ)
AC842 20:20 10:40 +1 AC843 12:10 15:30

Toronto-Istanbul

  • Year-round non-stop service increases from three times weekly to daily flights beginning June 2014, subject to government approval. Boeing 767-300ER service featuring choice of Air Canada Executive First and Economy cabins.

Toronto-Rome

  • Aircraft upgauged from Boeing 767-300ER to Airbus A330-300 service featuring choice of Air Canada Executive First and Economy cabins, from May 1 - October 25, 2014.

Montréal-London Heathrow

  • Aircraft upgauged from Airbus A330-300 to Boeing 777-300ER service featuring new international Premium Economy cabin, in addition to Executive First and expanded Economy cabins, from June 15 - September 30, 2014.

Montréal-Brussels

  • Aircraft upgauged from Boeing 767-300ER to Airbus A330-300 service featuring choice of Air Canada Executive First and Economy cabins, from March 29 - October 25, 2014.

Montréal-Geneva

  • Aircraft upgauged from Boeing 767-300ER to Airbus A330-300 service year-round featuring choice of Air Canada Executive First and Economy cabins.

Montréal-Frankfurt

  • Addition of a second non-stop flight five times weekly from May 16 - October 12, 2014.  The Air Canada codeshare flight will be operated by Star Alliance partner, Lufthansa, and will complement Air Canada's daily Airbus A330-300 year-round non-stop service,

Calgary-London Heathrow

  • Aircraft upgauged from Airbus A330-300 to Boeing 777-300ER service featuring choice of Air Canada Executive First and Economy cabins, from June 1 - September 30, 2014.

Calgary-Frankfurt

  • Aircraft upgauged from Airbus A330-300 to Boeing 777-300ER service featuring choice of Air Canada Executive First and Economy cabins, from March 29 - October 25, 2014.

Vancouver-London Heathrow

  • Effective March 1, 2014, upgauged to Boeing 777-300ER service year-round featuring new international Premium Economy cabin, in addition to Executive First and expanded Economy cabins.

Highlights of the Air Canada rouge Summer 2014 flight schedule:

Toronto-Lisbon

  • New three times weekly service from June 21 to September 21, 2014, subject to government approval. Departing Toronto on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, and from Lisbon on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Toronto-Manchester

  • New five times weekly service from June 26 to September 13. 2014. Departing Toronto on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and from Manchester on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Montréal-Nice

  • New three times weekly service from June 5 to October13, 2014, subject to government approval. Departing Montréal on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and from Nice on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Montréal-Barcelona

  • New twice weekly service from June 4 to October 11, 2014, subject to government approval. Departing Montréal on Wednesday and Friday, and from Barcelona on Thursday and Saturday.

Toronto-Athens

  • Seasonal non-stop service increases from four to five weekly flights beginning June 2014.

Toronto-Edinburgh

  • Seasonal non-stop service increases from three to five weekly flights beginning July 2014.

In addition, three popular holiday travel markets currently served by Air Canada's mainline carrier on a seasonal basis will be converted to Air Canada rouge service beginning summer 2014:

Toronto-Barcelona

  • Up to five times weekly service from May 8 to October 19, 2014, subject to government approval. Departing Toronto on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and from Barcelona on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Toronto-Dublin

  • Year-round service beginning May 1, 2014.

Montréal-Rome

  • Up to daily service from May 23 to October 19, 2014.

For the summer 2014 season, Air Canada rouge will continue to operate Toronto-Venice, Toronto-Edinburgh and Toronto/Montreal-Athens after their successful inaugural season in 2013.

All Air Canada rouge flights to Europe are operated with Boeing 767-300ER aircraft featuring a two-cabin configuration with three customer comfort options including rouge, rouge Plus with preferred seating with additional legroom, and, beginning in winter 2013, Premium rouge offering both additional room and enhanced service. By the Summer 2014 season, the Air Canada rouge widebody fleet will consist of eight Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. All flights offer customers streamed wireless inflight entertainment, standard 110 volt power plugs and USB ports (beginning spring 2014), stylish and modern cabin interiors with innovative new seats, and the ability to earn and redeem Aeroplan miles. For more information and bookings, please visit: http://www.aircanada.com/en/about/rouge.html

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 175 destinations on five continents.  Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2012 served close to 35 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 60 Canadian cities, 49 destinations in the United States and 67 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,328 destinations in 195 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax that ranked Air Canada in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers as Best Airline in North America in 2013 for the fourth consecutive year. For more information, please visit: www.aircanada.com.

About Air Canada rouge

Air Canada rouge is Air Canada's new leisure airline, part of the Air Canada Leisure Group, along with Air Canada Vacations. Air Canada rouge operates a fleet of Boeing 767-300ER and Airbus A319 aircraft sporting an attractive new livery and interior, designed to reflect the airline's relaxed friendly ambience. Air Canada rouge is the only leisure airline that offers a full network of connecting flights, Aeroplan Miles with every flight as well as redemption, and Air Canada Vacations package holidays or flight-only options. With all of these customer benefits, Air Canada rouge leads the way in leisure travel. Vacation ahead with Air Canada rouge. For more information visit: http://www.aircanada.com/en/about/media/rouge/index.html

About Air Canada Vacations

Air Canada Vacations is a leading Canadian tour operator offering a wide assortment of leisure travel packages, cruises, and flights to destinations around the world. A repeat recipient of the Consumer's Choice Award for Best Travel Wholesaler, Air Canada Vacations services over 100 destinations in the Caribbean, Central & South America, Asia, Europe, and in the U.S.  And now, Air Canada Vacations will feature Air Canada rouge on several of its top vacation routes. For more information, visit www.aircanadavacations.com

SOURCE Air Canada

For further information:

Isabelle Arthur (Montréal)  514 422-5788
Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto)  416 263-5576
Angela Mah (Vancouver)  604 270-5741

Internet :  aircanada.com