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All systems go for Air Canada rouge start up July 1

  • Air Operating Certificate granted by Transport Canada
  • First rouge crew class graduates; pilots' transitional training wraps up
  • Launch fleet conversion complete; streaming wireless entertainment onboard
  • Vacation ahead: brand development complete

TORONTO, June 25, 2013 /CNW/ - With five days to go until its historic inaugural flight on Canada Day, July 01, Air Canada rouge, Canada's new leisure carrier, is ready to start flying vacation travellers with comfort, affordability, friendly service and a full suite of Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations benefits and advantages. With a start-up fleet of four aircraft -- two Boeing 767-300ERs and two Airbus A319s -- Air Canada rouge's launch network includes Athens service from Toronto and Montreal and from its Toronto hub, service to:

  • Edinburgh and Venice
  • Punta Cana, Puerto Plata and Samana in the Dominican Republic
  • Varadero, Cayo Coco, Santa Clara and Holguin in Cuba
  • San Jose and Liberia in Costa Rica
  • Kingston, Jamaica

Air Canada also announced today a major expansion to Air Canada rouge's route network with new holiday destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, Florida and Las Vegas for its 2013-2014 winter season for a total of 23 Sun market destinations. All routes are converted from Air Canada and all flights will be operated using Airbus A319 aircraft, with the exception of Toronto-Las Vegas and Toronto-Montego Bay flights that will be operated with Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, for more information visit aircanada.mediaroom.com/.

"With our first flights just days away, we're ready to launch a new kind of leisure travel with Air Canada rouge," said Michael Friisdahl, Chief Executive Officer and President of the airline and the Air Canada Leisure Group. "Every decision in the past several months has been taken with the goal of ensuring a leading vacation travel experience.  We've kept a tight rein on our costs so that we can offer competitive fares that include the many benefits offered as part of the Air Canada family. Our bookings to date have exceeded our expectations with many our initial flights full.  For all those who had a vacation ahead and booked Air Canada rouge even before we started flying, and for everyone travelling with us in the future, we thank you and look forward to making sure your vacation starts and ends on your Air Canada rouge flight."

regulatory approvals granted including Air Operating Certificate

On Friday, June 21 Transport Canada granted Air Canada rouge its Air Operating Certificate, the official federal regulatory approval required to operate an air carrier in Canada and the result of months of progressive approvals of key stages of operations preparation. Air Canada rouge has also been granted Canadian Transportation Agency licenses that allow commercial operations, all licenses and permissions for foreign Civil Aviation Authorities and all overfly permissions with foreign agencies.

rouge crew and pilots ready to fly

The start-up Air Canada rouge crew -- 127 members strong -- have been outfitted with stylishly casual new uniforms, fully trained in safety through Air Canada and have completed customer service excellence training as well.  Earlier today they officially graduated and are now making final preparations to start work as early as June 29th, with positioning travel at select international destinations. Fifty Air Canada rouge pilots have completed transitional training.

aircraft fleet converted and ready for customers to choose their comfort

Air Canada rouge's start-up fleet of A319 aircraft transitioned from Air Canada have been converted inside and out.  The airline's B767-300ERs, also from Air Canada, have been fully converted save the seat configuration which is being completed after the busy Europe summer season.  Both aircraft types are sporting a sleek new white, red and burgundy livery. Interior modifications offer a range of comfortable customer seating, service choices and benefits.

  • player: onboard wireless streaming entertainment

All Air Canada rouge aircraft are all equipped with player, a next generation in-flight entertainment system that streams unlimited live entertainment -- including movies, TV shows, kids programming, music and an About Us section -- to customers' personal electronic devices.  Air Canada rouge is one of the first carriers in North America to offer streaming onboard content. Unlimited access to TV shows and movies will be free for the month of July and will be permanently complimentary for Premium rouge customers. Staring August 1, rouge Plus and rouge customers will pay a nominal $5 CDN fee for unlimited movie and TV show access and the music and About Us channels will always be complimentary.

  • A319 customer comfort features
    • 24 new slimline rouge Plus seats in a 3 +3 configuration offering more legroom and recline
    • 118 new slimline rouge seats in a 3 + 3 configuration
    • a tasty selection of meals, drinks and snacks as well as comfort items such as pillows, blankets and headphones through Air Canada rouge's Buy On Board service
    • player, Air Canada rouge's streaming wireless entertainment system
    • Air Canada's easy online booking, easy check in options, generous baggage allowances, Maple Leaf Lounge access (where eligible) and earning and redeeming Aeroplan Miles
  • B767-300ER customer comfort features
    • 18 Premium rouge seats in a 2 + 2 configuration in a separate cabin offering a more generous seat with more legroom and recline, complimentary hot meal and wine service, other comfort amenities.
    • 14 Rouge Plus seating in select locations in the main cabin
    • 232 rouge seating in a 2+3+2 configuration
    • once reconfigured to the new Air Canada rouge interiors in 2014, will offer 282 seats with a separate cabin of  24 Premium rouge seats, 28 rouge Plus seats with more legroom and recline and 230 rouge seats
    • player, Air Canada rouge's streaming wireless entertainment system
    • Air Canada's easy online booking, easy check in options, generous baggage allowances, Maple Leaf Lounge access (where eligible) and earning and redeeming Aeroplan Miles

brand development complete: vacation ahead

With its name, livery, color palette, aircraft interior design and initial brand personality announced in December 2012, Air Canada rouge's brand has been further developed into a distinct personality across multiple customer touch points. With amenities designed in bold colourful graphics, communications with a casual tone of voice, a uniquely colorized imagery style, stylishly updated cabin interiors including a next generation entertainment system, casually comfortable uniforms and an engaging customer service ethic, Air Canada rouge stands distinctly apart in the leisure travel market. Air Canada rouge has also introduced a new slogan: vacation ahead, which speaks to the many customer advantages inherent in the Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations brands and the universal desire to have a vacation to look forward to.

Elements of the new branding were introduced today with tours of the A-319 aircraft, new Air Canada rouge pages at aircanada.com/en/about/rouge/index.html
and advertising in Air Canada Vacations' Passion magazine promoting travel to Caribbean and sun destinations for winter 2013/14 will soon be available at aircanadavacations.com.

To book Air Canada rouge flights go to www.aircanada.com.

About Air Canada rouge

Air Canada rouge is Air Canada's new leisure airline, part of the new Air Canada Leisure Group, along with Air Canada Vacations.   Air Canada rouge will operate a fleet of Boeing 767-300ER and Airbus A319 aircraft sporting an attractive new livery and interior, designed to reflect the airline's relaxed friendly ambience.  Initially flights will operate from Toronto and Montreal to vacation spots in Europe and the Caribbean. Air Canada rouge is the only leisure airline that offers a full network of connecting flights, Aeroplan Miles with every flight as well as redemption, and Air Canada Vacations package holidays or flight-only options. With all of these customer benefits, Air Canada rouge will be leading the way in leisure travel.  Vacation ahead with Air Canada rouge. For more information visit: http://www.aircanada.com/en/about/rouge/flying_with_us.html

About Air Canada Vacations

Air Canada Vacations is a leading Canadian tour operator offering a wide assortment of leisure travel packages, cruises, and flights to destinations around the world.   A repeat recipient of the Consumer's Choice Award for Best Travel Wholesaler, Air Canada Vacations services over 100 destinations in the Caribbean, Central & South America, Asia, Europe, and in the U.S.  And now, Air Canada Vacations will feature Air Canada rouge on several of its top vacation routes.  For more information, visit www.aircanadavacations.com

About Air Canada 

Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 175 destinations on five continents.  Canada's flag carrier is the 15th largest commercial airline in the world and in 2012 served close to 35 million customers.  Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 59 Canadian cities, 53 destinations in the United States and 67 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,328 destinations in 195 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 2013 for the fourth consecutive year.  For more information, please visit: www.aircanada.com.

SOURCE Air Canada rouge

Image with caption: "Air Canada announced today a major expansion to Air Canada rouge's route network with new holiday destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, Florida and Las Vegas for its 2013-2014 winter season for a total of 23 Sun market destinations, for more information visit aircanada.mediaroom.com/. (CNW Group/Air Canada rouge)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130625_C3014_PHOTO_EN_28455.jpg

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