Tag Archives: Air Canada rouge

Air Canada to transfer more winter routes to rouge

Air Canada (Montreal) is planning to transfer additional routes to its leisure subsidiary Air Canada rouge (Toronto-Pearson) (YYZ) for the upcoming winter season. According to Airline Route, the carrier will transfer or start the following routes:

Toronto – Sarasota/Bradenton (A319) (October 24)

Toronto – Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (A319 and 767-300) (October 25)

Toronto – Panama City (767-300) (October 25)

Montreal – Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (A319 and 767-300) (December 16)

Vancouver – Kona, Hawaii (767-300) (December 19)

Montreal – Tampa (A319) (January 15, 2016)

Montreal – West Palm Beach (A319) (January 15)

Montreal – Nassau (A319) (January 17)

Toronto – Barbados (767-300) (January 7)

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Not operating under the rouge brand, Air Canada’s Boeing 767-3Q8 ER C-FJZK (msn 29386) waits for the next assignment at the YYZ base.

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Air Canada rouge to start Vancouver – Cancun flights

Air Canada rouge (Toronto-Pearson) will start weekly Boeing 767-300 ER service between Vancouver and Cancun on February 15, 2016 for the winter season per Airline Route.

In other news, Air Canada will make the Calgary – Portland, OR a year-round service.

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-333 ER C-FMWY (msn 25587) lands in Dublin.

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Canada celebrates Canada Day and Air Canada rouge celebrates its second anniversary

Air Canada rouge celebrates its 2nd anniversary

Air Canada (Montreal) today on Canada Day (July 1) issued this update statement on its Air Canada rouge (Toronto) brand and division:

Air Canada Rouge logo

Today Air Canada rouge welcomes customers celebrating Canada Day onboard its flights as the airline celebrates its second year in the skies creating a memorable travel experience for customers.

“As an integral component of Air Canada’s strategy for sustained profitability, Air Canada rouge continues to grow and successfully expand our market reach,” said Benjamin Smith , President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada. “Air Canada rouge is deployed on routes with high leisure travel demand at a competitive cost structure.”

By the numbers

Air Canada rouge began operations on July 1, 2013 with a start-up fleet of two Airbus A319 aircraft and two Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft on 14 routes from Toronto (Pearson) and Montreal (Trudeau) to the Caribbean and Europe . The airline operated 5 flights with 775 customers on the first day of operations.

Copyright Photo Above: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com.

This year’s Canada Day will see Air Canada rouge operate 101 flights and carry more than 15,000 customers. In the last two years, Air Canada rouge has flown over 4.5 million customers to destinations around the world. Air Canada rouge now operates a total of 33 aircraft including 20 Airbus A319 and 13 Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft on 67 routes from Toronto , Montreal , Calgary and Vancouver to 49 destinations in Europe , Mexico , the U.S., the Caribbean , Asia , South America and Canada .

Investing in the customer experience

Air Canada rouge has also completed the conversion of its Premium rouge cabin on the Airbus A319, from 3×3 seating configuration with a blocked middle seat to two side-by-side larger seats in a 2×2 configuration. An additional 30 per cent of carry-on space on the A319 fleet will be available starting this summer thanks to the installation of new overhead bin doors which allow carry-on items to be stowed more efficiently. Upgrades to the hardware and content offering on the in-flight entertainment system have been made across the Air Canada rouge fleet.

“Air Canada rouge continues to evolve its product, our brand and our customer experience to ensure that we are meeting the expectations of our customers,” said Michael Friisdahl , President and CEO, Air Canada Leisure Group. “It is our responsiveness to customer feedback and to the dynamics and trends of our industry that have helped us create a truly market-leading leisure travel experience.”

Air Canada rouge crew (AC)(LR)

Route Map. Rouge has continued to announce new routes since this now outdated 2014 route map:

Air Canada rouge 2014 route map

Air Canada rouge fun facts at two years:

Over 60,000 signature buttons such as “Happy Birthday!” and “First Flight!” distributed to customers celebrating special occasions onboard

Over 2,500 children’s faces painted with onboard face painting kits

About 3,400 puppets created from air sickness bags (that we know of)

Nearly 1,500 pairs of custom Fluevog shoes distributed to rouge crew (flight attendants)

All images by Air Canada.

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Happy National Birthday to all of our Canadian readers.


Air Canada rouge launches Toronto – Abbotsford flights

Air Canada rouge (Toronto) flight AC1979 touched down at the Abbotsford International Airport yesterday morning (June 27), marking the start of new nonstop seasonal service from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Returning home as the captain for this inaugural flight was Captain James Jeffrey Martin , who grew up in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland and completed his aviation education and training in Abbotsford . Celebrations were held at both airports and in the community to inaugurate the daily service.


Service between Toronto and Abbotsford will be operated daily by Air Canada rouge to October 12, 2015 with 136-seat Airbus A319 aircraft offering a choice of premium and economy cabins.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 C-FYIY (msn 634) arrives in Anchorage, Alaska.

Air Canada rouge aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Air Canada rouge is coming to London Gatwick, Air Canada will also add Lyon, France

Air Canada (Montreal) today further expanded its global network with the announcement of new nonstop services to Lyon, France and London’s Gatwick Airport beginning in the summer of 2016.

Air Canada logo-1

Air Canada rouge (Toronto) will operate the seasonal service between Toronto (Pearson) and London’s Gatwick Airport which will complement AC’s extensive operation at London Heathrow Airport.

Air Canada Rouge logo

Air Canada service between Montreal (Trudeau) and Lyon will begin on June 16, 2016 and operate up to five-times weekly with an Airbus A330-300 aircraft with 37 International Business Class lie-flat suites and 228 Economy class seats.

Air Canada rouge’s summer seasonal service betweenToronto and London-Gatwick will begin on May 19, 2016 and operate up to seven-times weekly with a Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft with 24 Premium rouge seats and 256 rouge seats.

In other news, Air Canada received confirmation by Unifor, representing the airline’s approximately 4,000 Customer Service and Sales Agents, that its members have ratified an agreement on a new collective agreement for five years.

The agreement has also been approved by the Air Canada Board of Directors.

Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Canada will bring its leisure rouge brand to Gatwick Airport. Air Canada rouge Boeing 767-33A ER C-GHPN (msn 33424) departs from Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL).

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Air Canada upgrades the premium cabin on the rouge Airbus A319s, opts out of the 2014 pension funding regulations

Air Canada Rouge logo

Air Canada (Montreal) has announced a number of product upgrades to benefit customers on its leisure airline, Air Canada rouge (Toronto).

The premium cabin in Air Canada rouge’s fleet of 20 Airbus A319 aircraft will be converted by mid-June 2015 from its current 3×3 seating configuration with a blocked middle seat to two side-by-side Business Class seats in a 2×2 configuration. This new seating provides customers more personal space and generous legroom as well as full power charging capacity with a 110-volt power plug and a high-powered USB port at every seat. Additional customer convenience features include a centre console and pop-out cocktail tray between the two seats and a coat hook at every seat.

Air Canada rouge will also increase carry-on space throughout its Airbus A319 fleet by 30 per cent with the installation of new overhead bin doors – dubbed “pillow doors” because of their curved shape – which allow carry-on items to be stowed more efficiently. The installation takes place this summer.

In addition to the upgrades on its Airbus A319 aircraft, Air Canada rouge is also enhancing its in-flight entertainment system on all Airbus A319 and Boeing 767 aircraft. Air Canada rouge is one of the first airlines in North America to offer a streaming in-flight entertainment system. This system, called player, is available complimentary to customers that have downloaded the free app onto their own laptops or mobile Apple® and Android® devices. Air Canada rouge also provides an Apple iPad® rental program onboard that is now renting out lightweight iPad Air 2® tablets that have been upgraded to feature dozens of the latest Hollywood new releases and popular iPad games for one and two players. iPad rentals are complimentary in the Premium rouge cabin.

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving more than 190 destinations on five continents. Canada’s flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2014 served more than 38 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 64 Canadian cities, 52 destinations in the United States and 78 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,321 airports in 193 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 2014 for the fifth consecutive year. For more information, please visit: http://www.aircanada.com follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook.

Air Canada rouge is Air Canada’s leisure airline. Together with Air Canada Vacations, Air Canada rouge offers competitively-priced travel to 50 exciting leisure destinations on 68 routes in Europe, Mexico, the U.S., the Caribbean, Asia, South America and Canada.

Air Canada rouge began operating July 1, 2013 with a start-up fleet of two Airbus 319 aircraft and two Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft. Air Canada rouge currently operates a total of 31 aircraft including 20 Airbus 319 and 11 Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft.

Air Canada logo-1

In other news, Air Canada has announced that it has elected to opt out of the Air Canada Pension Plan Funding Regulations, 2014 (the “2014 Regulations”), effective immediately. The 2014 Regulations became effective on January 1, 2014 and under their terms, Air Canada was required to make solvency deficit payments of $200 million per year, on average, over a seven-year period. The agreement entered into in connection with these regulations contained several restrictions, including a prohibition on dividends and share repurchases; however it allowed Air Canada to opt out at any time.

Air Canada has elected to opt out of the 2014 Regulations as following a detailed risk assessment, it believes the funding risk associated with the solvency of its pension plans has largely been eliminated. The committed deficit funding contributions over the next six years of approximately $1.1 billion under the 2014 Regulations may be redeployed to further improve the competitive position of Air Canada and create substantial value for shareholders and employees.

The overall risk profile of the pension plans, given the successful execution of a new investment policy and risk mitigation strategy introduced in 2009, is significantly lower. This is the result of and reflected in the following:

75 per cent of Air Canada’s pension liabilities are now immunized with duration-matched fixed income products, significantly reducing the interest rate risk associated with all pension plans. Air Canada may continue to increase immunization levels, subject to favourable market conditions.

Air Canada utilizes an overall risk measurement called “surplus risk”, measuring the potential variability of the plan assets and liabilities over the period of one year. This surplus risk has been reduced by approximately 50 per cent since 2009, a reflection of a more conservative asset mix policy.

The aggregate solvency surplus as at May 20, 2015, based on management estimates, is $1.2 billion, 82 per cent above the $660 million surplus level at January 1, 2015, and 13.5 times greater than the $89 million surplus level as at January 1, 2014.

As part of its due diligence and risk mitigation strategy, Air Canada, with the assistance of its professional actuaries, simulated 1,000 different economic scenarios on the current plan asset mix to determine what combination of economic factors would have to occur to cause Air Canada to contribute an aggregate of more than $1.2 billion to its pension plans under normal funding rules, over the next six years. Air Canada also simulated the past three economic crises (the 2009 financial crisis, the 2001-2002 technology crises and the 1970 oil crisis) to assess the effect each would have on the pension plan assets. None of those three economic crises would result in payments exceeding an aggregate amount of $1.2 billion over the next six years. With respect to the 1,000 economic scenarios, less than 2 per cent would result in payments of over $1.2 billion; however, none of these scenarios has ever actually occurred.

Three years ago, Air Canada’s domestic registered pension plans had a significant pension solvency deficit of $4.2 billion. The $5.4 billion improvement in the pension solvency position to the May 20, 2015 estimated surplus of $1.2 billion is a reflection of top quartile investment returns given the new investment strategy introduced in 2009 which created over $3.5 billion in value, negotiated pension benefit amendments which reduced the deficit by approximately $1.0 billion, and past service cash contributions by Air Canada of approximately $900 million over the past six years, which when added to the $1.0 billion contributed in current service costs represents a total contribution by Air Canada of $1.9 billion since 2009 to its Canadian registered pension plans.

In addition, the pension share trust created in 2009 as part of an earlier pension arrangement, and held in trust for the benefit of the airline’s Canadian employees and retirees, is currently valued at approximately $220 million. The trust provides that proceeds of any sale of the trust shares will be retained and applied to reduce future deficits, if any should materialize.

Under normal funding rules, Air Canada will make pension solvency payments of approximately $90 million in 2015 versus the $200 million it would have had to contribute under the 2014 Regulations, saving $110 million. Based on the solvency surplus as at January 1, 2015 of $660 million, and assuming similar market conditions to the current environment and given its immunization strategy, Air Canada expects its pension solvency payments in 2016 to be zero, saving $200 million in that year alone.

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 C-FYNS (msn 572) of Air Canada rouge arrives at Vancouver.

Air Canada rouge aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show


Air Canada rouge arrives in Venice

Air Canada Rouge logo

Air Canada rouge (Toronto) touched down at Venice Marco Polo Airport on May 15, marking the start of new nonstop seasonal service from Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

Service between Montreal and Venice will be operated by Air Canada rouge twice weekly through October 11, 2015 with a 280-seat Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft offering a choice of premium and economy cabins.

Air Canada rouge now serves Venice from both Montreal and Toronto during summer 2015 and offers the most seats of any airline between Canada and Venice during the peak summer season this year.

In other news, parent Air Canada, Air Canada rouge and Air Canada Express also inaugurated new services between Vancouver-Osaka, Vancouver-Comox, Calgary-Nanaimo and Calgary-Halifax.

Up to five times weekly Vancouver-Osaka flights are operated by Air Canada rouge this summer with 280-seat Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft offering a choice of premium and economy cabins. Up to ten weekly, seasonal Halifax-Calgary flights are operated by Air Canada rouge with 136-seat Airbus A319 offering a choice of premium and economy cabins.

Daily Nanaimo-Calgary and twice daily Comox-Vancouver flights are operated by Jazz Aviation LP under the Air Canada Express brand with 74-seat Bombardier Q400 and 50-seat Bombardier DHC-8-300 aircraft respectively.

Upcoming new routes which will be launching by this summer’s peak include: Toronto-Amsterdam, Toronto-Austin, Toronto-Atlantic City, Toronto-Abbotsford, Montreal-Mexico City and Calgary-Terrace.

Copyright Photo below: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-333 ER C-FMXC (msn 25588) taxies at Toronto (Pearson).

Air Canada rouge aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show