Flag carrier, Air Canada has further expanded its European network with the addition of new non-stop services to Lyon in France and London's Gatwick airport, due to commence in summer 2016.
The new seasonal Air Canada rouge service between Toronto and Gatwick will complement the airline’s extensive operation at London Heathrow, while the year-round service from Montreal to Lyon will complement the airline’s operations to both Nice-Côte d'Azur, and Paris Charles de Gaulle.
Tickets for both routes will be available for purchase from July 2, 2015, and service between Montreal and Lyon will begin June 16, 2016, operating up to five-times-weekly with an Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The airline’s summer seasonal service between Toronto and London Gatwick will commence on May 19, 2016 and will operate up to seven-times-weekly with a Boeing 767-300ER.
Air Canada’s new service to Lyon, the heart of the second largest metropolitan area in France will be the only year-round service between North America and Lyon.
James Cherry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aéroports de Montréal said: "This new scheduled service between Montreal and Lyon, France's second-largest urban area, is excellent news that further supports Montreal–Trudeau's positioning as a hub between North America and Europe, particularly French-speaking Europe."
European low-cost carrier, easyJet has recently announced four new routes from Lyon including Amsterdam, Naples, as well as London Southend and Belfast during the winter season to convey the British tourist to Alpine ski resorts.
"Our new seasonal Air Canada rouge service between Toronto and London's Gatwick airport will complement our extensive operation at London Heathrow, our largest gateway outside Canada with non-stop service from eight Canadian cities. Air Canada rouge is ideally-suited to serve London-Gatwick, with its focus on leisure travel and provide easy access to southern London,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines, at Air Canada.
Meanwhile, Canadian low-cost carrier, WestJet Airlines has also selected to UK capital as the first transatlantic destination from Canada for its widebody 767-300 fleet. The airline will deploy the aircraft to London Gatwick from spring 2016.
Air Canada has been expanding its presence across Western Europe over the past ten years, with a particular increase in services to Europe between 2013 and 2015.
Our analysis of OAG Schedule Analyser data shows that the airline has added a total of seven new destinations within Western Europe over the past three years, including Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Istanbul, Lisbon, Manchester, Milan Malpensa, Nice and Venice.
Air Canada now offers a total of 2,756,517 seats to Western Europe in 2015, a 51.3 percent increase in seats in comparison to 2005. Between 2014 and 2015, the airline has more than doubled the number of seats available on its flights to Venice and Lisbon, while its services to Dublin, Barcelona and Rome Fuimicino have seen a significant increase in seats.
Aside from a minor dip in available departure seats between 2008 and 2009, Air Canada has steadily grown its offering to Western Europe, now serving a total of 21 destinations in 2015.