Air Canada Rouge, the recently-launched “leisure airline”, will arrive in Asia for the first time next year.
The carrier currently operates low-cost services to a range of leisure destinations in Europe and the Caribbean, but on 1 May 2015 it will launch its first trans-Pacific flights connecting Vancouver with Osaka.
This new seasonal service will run five times a week until 24 October 2015, with flights departing Vancouver every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The return leg will leave Osaka’s Kansai International Airport the following day.
Benjamin Smith, Air Canada’s president of passenger airlines, said he believes the new service will especially appeal to Japanese holidaymakers.
“We expect this new seasonal service to be particularly popular with vacation travellers from Osaka seeking the renowned scenic beauty, outdoor activities and culture of Vancouver… as well as with North American customers travelling to Japan’s second largest metropolitan centre. The flights to Kansai International Airport have been timed to connect conveniently at Air Canada’s Vancouver hub to and from our extensive North American network,” Smith 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 key element of our strategy for sustainable, profitable growth at both airlines. By next summer, Air Canada rouge, Air Canada, and Star Alliance partner airline ANA will offer up to six daily non-stop flights between Canada and Japan,” he added.
Air Canada Rouge will operate the new Asian route using a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, which has been transferred from the regular Air Canada fleet. This comes fitted with 280 seats, including 24 “premium” seats, which are wider and offer more legroom. Wireless in-flight entertainment streaming is available for passengers carrying their own electronic devices.
The Osaka launch follows the introduction of Air Canada’s first ever Asian Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights in July this year, when the airline’s new long-haul jet started flying to Tokyo Haneda Airport. The carrier also plans to deploy the Dreamliner to Tokyo Narita Airport in future.
And the progressive arrival of more new aircraft into Air Canada’s mainline fleet will allow it to transfer its older B767s to Air Canada Rouge, thus allowing the subsidiary to expand its own operations.