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TheAverageJoe

Air Canada rouge™: Introducing Canada's New Leisure Airline

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Unless you're an enthusiast who wants a ride on the 767, from a passenger point of you - thats a major downgrade.  Rouge's seats, are smaller (the leg room on the A319/321 is unbearable for any flight longer than 2 hours) and they are also harder.

I'm giving Premium Rouge a try tomorrow from LAS-YVR, but otherwise if I book AC and a segment is flown by Rouge, I will avoid it at all costs.

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Sigh I use that flight a few times a year. Sad to hear of that change. Wonder what inspired it? 

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Seating in Premium Rouge is still pretty cramped, seats were comfy though.  Service was great, even for a short 2h20m flight - it was nice to have an actual warm meal on an airplane again.  The only complaint I have is the lack of a seat pocket to hang your iPad from, the little table/arm rest makes it very awkward while eating.

 

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I haven't had many (actually none) positive experiences with on board Wi Fi yet.  The systems are painfully slow that any productive use of the internet just becomes frustration. 

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Air Canada Rouge Celebrates Fourth Birthday

 

Leisure airline has carried more than 16 million customers since launch

MONTREAL, July 1, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada Rouge is celebrating its birthday today, marking four years of providing customers memorable beginnings and endings to their journeys. From its first flight on Canada Day 2013, Air Canada's leisure carrier has grown to 49 aircraft from four, created 1,800 incremental jobs and flown more than 16 million customers.

"Air Canada Rouge has proven itself to be tremendously popular with customers, as shown by steady growth that today has it operating more than 100 routes, up from an original 14. It has also been a key driver of Air Canada's strategy, enabling us to increase capacity, add frequencies and compete effectively in leisure markets to give our customers an ever-expanding choice of destinations and travel options. I commend the employees of Air Canada Rouge for their dedication to creating memorable travel experiences and thank our customers for choosing Air Canada Rouge and making it so successful over these last four years," said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.

Since the beginning of this year alone, Air Canada Rouge has begun offering service on a variety of exciting new international routes, including: Montreal to Algiers, Marseilles and Reykjavik; Toronto to Berlin and Reykjavik; and Vancouver to Nagoya and London-Gatwick. New services beginning this fall include: Montreal to Lima and Phoenix; Toronto to Cartagena, Belize City and St. Vincent; and Vancouver to Orlando.

Since it began flying on July 1, 2013, Air Canada Rouge has continually enhanced its services for customers. This year, Air Canada Rouge began offering high-speed, satellite internet aboard its aircraft. Air Canada Rouge customers now have access to the fastest internet service on a Canadian airline, giving them the ability to email, stream video and music, surf the web and more while flying. All Air Canada Rouge Airbus A319s now offer connectivity and installation of the service on all Air Canada Rouge A321 and Boeing 767-300ER aircraft will be complete by the end of 2018.

Other Air Canada Rouge milestones:

  • Over 16 million customers served - and counting
  • 1,260 Rouge Crew (our name for Flight Attendants), with 330 hired since January 2017
  • Over 600 pilots at Rouge, with more than 100 hired since January 2017, plus additional new pilot positions at Air Canada mainline
  • Flown over 317 million kilometres – that's almost 8,000 trips around earth in equivalent distance!
  • Added 33 new routes to the overall Air Canada network, including Air Canada's first regularly scheduled flight to Africa, extending Air Canada's global network to six continents.
  • Over 12,600 pieces of toiletries collected by Air Canada Rouge Crew donated to nine different charities across Canada in the last year
  • Over 400 hours of Rouge Crew volunteer time contributed to local charities and causes in the last year

https://aircanada.mediaroom.com/2017-07-01-Air-Canada-Rouge-Celebrates-Fourth-Birthday

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A new deal Air Canada has signed with its pilots permits its Rouge airline to expand its narrow-bodied fleet as the carrier's mainline fleet grows, strengthening the company's hand as the competition with low-cost carriers heats up.

Under changes to its contract with pilots, Air Canada will be able to expand the fleet at low-cost Rouge by one narrow-bodied plane for every one it adds to its mainline service, and by two narrow-bodied jets for every wide-bodied plane added to the mainline fleet.

Amendments to the deal with the Air Canada Pilots Association, which eliminate a 50-plane limit on the Rouge fleet, were agreed to in September. The details of how the contract permits the low-cost unit to expand were not revealed at the time, but are contained in a copy of the agreement obtained by The Globe and Mail.

The expansion of Rouge is a key part of Air Canada's strategy to compete against ultralow-cost carriers (ULCCs) such asCanada Jetlines Ltd. and the Swoop unit of WestJet Airlines Ltd., both of which are planning to begin operations next summer.

"The [Rouge] model is now capable of being used to compete against anybody who comes in the market," Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada's chief executive officer, said in an interview. "From our perspective, we think we have a product that is quite competitive."

In the 2014 contract signed with its pilots, Rouge is limited to 25 narrow-bodied planes of the 50-aircraft overall limit.

Removing that limit is crucial, Mr. Rovinescu said, "because, otherwise, what you would have had to do is shift airplanes from other really good markets. So you'd have a tough choice to decide: Are you going to remove it from some markets to put it onto others?"

Air Canada will take delivery of two narrow-bodied Boeing 737 jets this year – the first jets from a 61-plane order – and will add six wide-bodied Boeing 787s to its mainline fleet during the rest of this year and in 2018.

The formulas permit Rouge to expand immediately, which can be done by redeploying A320-family aircraft destined to exit the mainline fleet.

"You could start adding it right now and certainly in time for next summer," Mr. Rovinescu said in Toronto after speaking at an economic conference. "Some of it is market-driven, some of it is how much in advance do you start new routes."

What impact the changes will have on routes is still under study, he said. Air Canada executives said during an investor day presentation that expanding Rouge to regional domestic routes is one option being examined.

Flying an Airbus A319 that has already been paid for into Hamilton from Abbotsford, B.C., for example, could allow Rouge to compete against WestJet, which is already flying that route. Those two cities will also be the eastern Canada and western Canada bases respectively for Canada Jetlines.

The combination of new narrow-bodies, which includes Bombardier Inc.'s C Series planes that will be delivered beginning in 2019, means Air Canada "can look at other opportunities that weren't available to us in the past," said Ben Smith, the airline's president of passenger airlines. "Whether that's in the ULCC or LCC [markets], further leisure areas we're not competing in today or whatever competitive threat comes at us."

The pilot contract also permits Rouge to replace existing Boeing 767s with Boeing 787s, but only as replacements, not as additions to the Rouge fleet.

But using the larger Boeing 787-9 on Rouge in some international long-haul flights could make sense, said industry analyst Robert Kokonis, who heads AirTrav Inc.

Air Canada's mainline service between Toronto and New Delhi on a 787-9 offers 298 seats.

"But think about 340-350 seats on a Rouge-configured 787-9," Mr. Kokonis said. "Now you're talking."

Air Canada has options to acquire 13 more 787s. Delivery of the 37 planes from its firm order is scheduled to be complete in 2019.

The amendments to the pilot contract also outline a change in Rouge's purpose.

"The mandate of ACrouge is to support the strength, sustainability and growth of mainline," a clause in a letter of understanding on work rules and conditions says. Under the previous agreement with pilots, the scope of Rouge was described as being "limited to the market seeking low-cost air travel."

Rouge was not intended to replace mainline routes that were financially viable, the clause stated.

But the low-cost unit is already supplementing some mainline offerings. Air Canada mainline provides service over the Atlantic Ocean to London Heathrow, while Rouge flies into London Gatwick.

But, "we don't expect to have too many routes where you'd have both the Rouge and the mainline service," Mr. Rovinescu said.

 

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/new-pilot-contract-allows-air-canada-to-expand-rouge-fleet/article36799290/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

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I don't have the link right now,  but Rouge is adding the following to their schedule in 2018 ...

Montreal to Victoria

Toronto to Nanaimo

Toronto to Kamloops

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I flown Rouge twice .  Toronto to Las Vegas wasnt bad at all but man Athens to Toronto in a 767 was a long long long flight.

Never again .

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Seems that Air Canada has started their transfer of a320s to Air Canada Rouge starting with C-GFCH

IMG_0576.thumb.PNG.75142744f3776f68ecca2357a520ce1d.PNG

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On 5/18/2019 at 12:00 AM, Thomasw said:

Seems that Air Canada has started their transfer of a320s to Air Canada Rouge starting with C-GFCH

IMG_0576.thumb.PNG.75142744f3776f68ecca2357a520ce1d.PNG

3 already done with 2 more due this year

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On 5/18/2019 at 12:00 AM, Thomasw said:

Seems that Air Canada has started their transfer of a320s to Air Canada Rouge starting with C-GFCH

From what I can find, C-GFCH is a new aircraft to Air Canada.  It wasn't a transfer from mainline to Rouge.  MSN 3160 ex-Interjet.

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All 4 planned A320's are ex-Interjet, and all 4 seem to be leased. 

Its also expected that Rouge will add 6 ex-WOW A321's to their roster. Not sure if deliveries have started yet or not. 

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