An Air Canada 767-300ER waiting to depart Buenos Aires – Photo: Colin Cook
I recently had the opportunity to travel with a group of friends to Buenos Aires, Argentina. In part one of this story, I reviewed my flight to Buenos Aires. This second part will cover the return leg to North America, where I flew in Air Canada Business Class.
The flight down to Buenos Aires was quite the adventure (nearly missed connections, language barriers, difficult boarding process, etc). After a wonderful five days in Argentina and Uruguay, it was time to come home. Given the opportunity, I absolutely recommend that you visit both of these countries. I had heard wonderful things about Buenos Aires and it definitely lived up to its billing as the “Paris of South America.” The city was incredibly vibrant and we truly immersed ourselves in the culture. I found the art of the country to be particularly interesting!
Air Canada rouge’s inaugural YVR-LAS Airbus A319 flight at the gate on a rainy Vancouver morning
You may have read the recent commentary and analysis by AirlineReporter’s Bernie Leighton, “You Get What You Pay For Rant: Why Economy Class Is What It Is.” I certainly did. It seemed fitting, then, that just a couple of days later, I was invited to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) for Air Canada rouge‘s first Western Canada flight.
Air Canada rouge is an “airline within an airline”, and is part of the Air Canada Leisure Group along with inclusive-tour operator, Air Canada Vacations. The airline is positioned as Air Canada’s “Leisure” carrier, intended to get passengers to their vacation destinations. Air Canada rouge launched last July 1st with flights from Toronto (YYZ) and Montreal (YUL) to Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the U.S. In addition to specific vacation travel, Air Canada is hoping to make its unprofitable routes financially viable by a transfer to Air Canada rouge, which has lower operating costs. Bernie talked all about that, and CASMs and RASMs, in his rant.
By the end of 2014, Air Canada will have transferred 47 routes to rouge. Another seven routes new to the AC network will be operated exclusively by rouge. The just-announced Western Canada routes include YVR to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, and seasonal service to Anchorage. From Calgary, flights will go to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
The Air Canada rouge fleet is made up of Airbus A319s and Boeing 767-300ERs, transferred from Air Canada’s mainline fleet. As of the end of April, there were 15 A319s and four 767s flying for the leisure carrier. Ultimately, rouge may have up to 30 A319s and 20 767s, with the 767s coming into the fleet as Air Canada receives its new 787 Dreamliners.
C-GHPQ, Air Canada’s first 787-8 on the ramp at KPAE. Photo – Bernie Leighton
I was up over PAE this morning, going hunting. Look at this wonderful new aircraft for Air Canada. Best looking 787 yet in my opinion.
The Montreal-based airline should be taking delivery of this frame some time next month.
HI RES IMAGE (click for larger). JAL’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner taking off at Paine Field – Photo: Boeing
Last week, Japan Airlines announced that it will begin Boeing 787 service to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on Monday, February 3, 2014. This will be the first scheduled arrival of a Dreamliner at YVR.
The JAL 787-8 will serve the YVR to Tokyo Narita (NRT) route, and will initially fly once per week on Mondays. Daily service will be in place by March.
We expect to see additional Dreamliner service at YVR this year, most noteably with Air Canada’s introduction of their 787-8 later in the spring. AC’s first of their 37-aircraft order, LN160, is to be registered as C-GHPQ and is currently in Position 2 of the Final Assembly Line at Boeing Everett.