As part of its most far-reaching summer schedule and network growth, Air Canada is to launch its first route into Africa and in the process become one of only a dozen airlines to serve six of the world’s continents. The new route will link Montreal with Casablanca in Morocco and will operate initially on a summer-only basis.
Subject to obtaining the necessary government approvals, Air Canada rouge, the operator’s leisure business, will introduce a four times weekly link between Montreal and Casablanca from June 3, 2016. The route will be operated using a 280-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft offering a choice of premium and economy cabins and will continue through to October 17, 2016.
"Air Canada is solidifying its position among leading global carriers by becoming one of only a dozen airlines flying to six continents with today's announcement of non-stop service to Casablanca, our first destination in Africa,” said Benjamin Smith, president, passenger airlines, Air Canada.
“Our Montreal - Casablanca flight will also be the only service to North Africa by a North American carrier and our aim is to transform this new route into a year-round operation,” he added.
The Montreal – Casablanca city pair is currently already served by Royal Air Maroc (RAM) on an up to daily basis using a mix of aircraft equipment, including Boeing 747-400s, 767-300s and its new 787-8 Dreamliners. This is the only non-stop route between Canada and Morocco and the longest-running continued scheduled service between Canada and North Africa.
Our analysis of Sabre Airport Data Intelligence demand statistics shows that just over 900,000 bi-directional O&D passengers a year are flying in and out of Africa from/to Canada with the non-stop Casablanca services of RAM being complement by flights by Air Algerie between Montreal and Algiers and EgyptAir between Toronto and Cairo. Tunisia’s Syphax Airlines had also served the Montreal – Tunis market up until the first quarter of this year.
An estimated 136,000 passengers flew between Canada and Morocco in 2014 around 15.0 per cent of the total demand between Canada and Africa and the largest single country market.