Air Canada to boost ski flights

Air Canada to boost ski flights
By admin

Air Canada looks set to boost Australian services once again during the 2013 ski season, as the carrier underlined its commitment to the local market.

General manager Asia and Pacific Chris Garton told media at a briefing yesterday that this year's trial of the six-week boost, which takes the route from daily to ten times weekly, has seen healthy bookings and confirmed plans to resume the seasonal boost next year.

Meanwhile, chief executive Calin Rovinescu reported an "outstanding" load factor on the Sydney route, currently at 84.9%.

"In October, we had the highest load factor of any carrier operating out of Australia," he added.

He revealed the carrier is eyeing a second Australian port, confirming Melbourne as the next "logical" destination for the carrier.

"We know there are a lot of reasons to have destinations besides Sydney," he said. "But the challenge is aircraft."

The airline does not currently possess enough aircraft capable of flying the 16-hour journey non-stop, he admitted. While there is a possibility of moving suitable aircraft from other routes, the airline is reluctant to do so in the short term.

As a result, the expansion is unlikely to occur before 2016, following delivery of long range Boeing 787-9 aircraft in 2015. The airline currently has 37 787-8s and 787-9s on order.

Rovinescu described the delivery of the 787-9 as a "defining moment" for the airline enabling them to grow Australian services and venture into secondary Chinese cities.

The airline yesterday unveiled its new low cost leisure carrier, Air Canada rouge. The wholly owned subsidiary will fly to Venice and Edinburgh in its inaugural 2013 season which starts in July. It will also take over Air Canada's seasonal services from Toronto and Montreal to Athens, and Air Canada Vacations flights to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Costa Rica.

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