Canadian leisure carrier, Air Canada rouge, is boosting capacity on some of its long-haul flights to Europe, following strong performance on many of its routes across the Atlantic during 2014. Alongside a new seasonal flight between Montreal and Venice, the carrier, a division of national airline Air Canada, will significantly grow capacity into the Irish market via its link to Dublin Airport.
The Irish capital became the airline’s fourth European destination when it replaced Air Canada in the Toronto – Dublin market from May 1, 2014 at which time the seasonal operation was switched to a year-round offering.
Air Canada has been serving Ireland since its predecessor, Trans-Canada Air Lines, first flew to Shannon in 1947 and until last year the Star Alliance member had continuously served the Dublin market on a seasonal summer-only scheduled basis since 2002.
In its first summer season, Air Canada rouge offered an up to daily link between Toronto and Dublin using a Boeing 767-300ER, but reverted to a three times weekly offering through the current winter schedule. According to its schedules, frequencies will increase again from late April 2015, growing to ten times weekly in mid-June and up to eleven times weekly from the end of that month through to the end of August.
The changes will mean Air Canada rouge will boost its summer capacity on the route from 35,528 seats in each direction in 2014 to 62,856 seats in 2015, a growth of 76.9 per cent.
Speaking to Routesonline on the sidelines of this year’s Routes Americas forum in Denver, USA, Vijay Bathija, vice president commercial, Air Canada rouge, confirmed the network expansion in Dublin and add additional frequencies into Europe. This year it will introduce its first links to Asia with an up to five times weekly link between Vancouver and Osaka’s Kansai International Airport launching from May 1, 2015.
"We are now working on winter 2015/2016, but we haven't announced anything for winter yet," noted Bathija.
Air Canada rouge has certainly seen tremendous success since its debut on flights within Canada, to the Caribbean and across the Atlantic to Europe. According to Bathija, this success is based on the fundamental reason for the carrier’s formation – to support the needs of leisure demand in and out of Canada.
“We were set up with that as the basis of our strategy. Airlines are currently working hard to be everything to everyone but by working in tandem with Air Canada we can do a job in the leisure market, while they retain a focus on higher-yield business demand,” he said.
The expansion of Air Canada rouge to compete in the fast-growing Asian leisure market in tandem with Air Canada's mainline fleet renewal is a good example of this element of their strategy for sustainable, profitable growth at both airlines.
You can learn more about Air Canada rouge's developments in our interview with Vijay Bathija, below (click on the video to play).