Air Canada Expanding Lower-cost Rouge Service to Vancouver, Calgary

March 27, 2014 Updated: March 27, 2014

MONTREAL—Air Canada is accelerating its efforts to cut costs by replacing its regular service on some U.S. routes from Vancouver and Calgary with its lower cost subsidiary Rouge starting this spring.

The airline is using Rouge to lower its costs by filling planes with more passengers and paying workers less than on the main network.

Air Canada said Tuesday that Rouge will begin daily flights at the end of April from Calgary and Vancouver to Las Vegas.

It will be followed with service to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Anchorage, Alaska, a key port for cruise ships. Seasonal service from Vancouver and Calgary to Phoenix will begin next December.

Rouge will also take on service between Toronto and San Diego and Phoenix.

Air Canada chief commercial officer Ben Smith said the expansion of Rouge and the addition of new aircraft are a “key element of our strategy for sustainable, profitable growth at both airlines.”

He says Rouge allows the airline to compete more effectively in markets with high leisure travel demand and low-cost competition.

Smith says it may add other destinations to Rouge as Air Canada receives delivery of new airplanes allowing existing Airbus A319s and Boeing 767s to be transferred to the low-cost subsidiary.

Launched last July, Rouge plans to operate 54 routes, including service to Europe from Montreal and Toronto.

Rouge’s fleet of 17 planes is expected to nearly double by the end of the year.