Air Canada Rouge commences Gatwick-Vancouver direct service

Air Canada Rouge has recently announced the launch of its new seasonal non-stop service from London Gatwick to Vancouver.

Air Canada Rouge is Air Canada’s leisure airline and will operate three services a week to Air Canada’s Vancouver hub, Vancouver International Airport, until October 7, 2017 (westbound).

The London Gatwick-Vancouver service will operate thrice a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Flight times are ten hours 10 minutes westbound and nine hours 40 minutes eastbound. Air Canada Rouge flight AC1935 departs Gatwick at 12.00 hours, arriving in Vancouver at 14.10 hours, the same day. The return flight AC1934 departs Vancouver at 16.45 hours, arriving in London Gatwick at 10.25 hours, the next day – all times being local and subject to change.

Commenting on the new route, Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer, London Gatwick Airport, said: ‘Visitors from the UK will be spoilt for choice in Vancouver – one of the world’s most exciting places to visit. The city hosts a wealth of festivals, galleries, theatres, museums and music venues, and is the principal gateway to the famous Canadian outdoors. This new route also provides an important connection between the two countries business communities, including Vancouver’s flourishing high-tech, media and green economy sectors.’

Stephen Gerrard, Air Canada’s General Manager Sales -UK and Ireland, said: ‘We successfully launched our London Gatwick-Toronto service last summer and we are pleased to introduce our second seasonal service from London Gatwick today [June 8, 2017].’

‘Our customers can now fly non-stop with Air Canada Rouge to Western Canada with onward connections to our extensive global network. Creating memorable moments is what we pride ourselves on at Air Canada Rouge. Our flight attendants are all trained at the Disney Institute in customer service excellence and we offer a host of Air Canada benefits, all at competitive fares.’

The new direct service is operated using a 282-seat wide-body Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, which features a two-cabin configuration with 24 Premium Rouge seats offering both additional legroom and enhanced service in the front cabin, and 258 Economy seats – including 39 Preferred seats with additional legroom – in the rear cabin. Air Canada Rouge offers customers wireless in-flight entertainment streamed to their own personal electronic devices, stylish cabin interiors, complimentary advanced seat assignment and the ability to earn and redeem Aeroplan miles. Air Canada also offers complimentary generous checked and carry-on baggage allowance.

In addition to the new London Gatwick-Vancouver service, Air Canada Rouge is planning to launch new services to four other European destinations this summer, Montreal to Reykjavik and Marseille and Toronto to Reykjavik and Berlin, Gatwick Airport said in a release.

Air Canada’s suspends London Heathrow service for winter

Air Canada will suspend flights between Edmonton International Airport (EIA) and London’s Heathrow Airport for three-months this winter, according a report by the Edmonton Journal.

‘Despite ongoing promotional initiatives over the past six years, the Edmonton-London route has always been a challenge to be profitable during the winter months,’ said Air Canada spokesperson, Angela Mah.

‘As a result, Air Canada has taken a commercial decision to not operate the Edmonton-London flights between January 8 and March 28, 2014. The non-stop flights re-start March 29 with five weekly flights ramping up to daily on May 1 for the summer season,’ Ms. Mah said.

Heather Hamilton, director of communications and marketing for EIA, said: ‘We are disappointed. That flight is a popular route. We think it’s going to be missed.’

‘Air Canada is an important partner for us and we will continue to work with them,’ she added.

Travellers affected by the Air Canada suspension have the option of travelling with United Airlines non-stop from Edmonton to Newark, New Jersey, which provides Star Alliance connections to Europe, Hamilton said.

Air Canada launched three non-stop flights between Edmonton International Airport and London Heathrow in November 2006, following years of negotiations for year-round European scheduled service by the airport and the city. Daily flights began in April 2007.

Travel agents and frequent flyers are reportedly disappointed by the decision, but expressed hope that the airport will find other more favourable alternatives.

‘To get to Europe, there’s still lots of great options; but to London, it’s certainly going to add a leg and a couple of hours to that trip so it’s certainly unfortunate for frequent London travellers,’ said Stephen Petasky, a frequent flyer and president and managing partner of Luxus Group, a recreational and commercial real estate company with properties in Europe.

‘If we’re losing the Heathrow flight, ideally EIA will be able to pick up another flight to Europe in a more central hub that will allow for a better gateway to the rest of Europe. Maybe the loss of this will open up the door for another great opportunity for EIA that could be even better than Heathrow in regards to a hub to the rest of Western Europe,’ he added.