By John Flett
Air Canada Increases Capacity to ‘Winter Sun’ Network Above Pre-Pandemic Levels
Air Canada has followed up the expansion of several European routes to year-round services to Toulouse, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Lisbon, Rome, Madrid and Copenhagen with the announcement of the strategic expansion of its winter schedule. The airline announced it will increase capacity for the 2022-23 Northern Winter to more than 8 percent above its 2019-20 pre-pandemic schedule. The increased capacity is 11 percent above last winter and will include four new routes from Montreal’s Trudeau International (YUL) and Toronto’s Pearson International (YYZ).
From 29 October a four-times-weekly service from YYZ to Monterrey, Mexico will commence with a weekly YUL to Los Cabos, Mexico flight beginning on 01 December. Fort-de-France (FDF) and La Romana (LRM) in the Caribbean will be served from YYZ and YUL commencing 16 December (YYZ-FDF, weekly) and 17 December (YUL-LRM, weekly), respectively.
“We are seeing strong, ongoing interest for winter leisure travel, and as the leading carrier from Canada to popular sun destinations with up to 683 weekly flights planned this winter, we are thrilled to add exciting new services from Toronto and Montreal to the Caribbean and Mexico and significant increases from our Vancouver hub in response to pent up demand,” said Mark Galardo, Executive Vice President, Revenue and Network Planning at Air Canada.
“With the most flights to choose from coast to coast this winter to popular leisure sun destinations and convenient travel package options through Air Canada Vacations, customers can begin booking their vacation to their preferred destination now,” added Mr. Galardo.
Air Canada is seeking to leverage hub activity through YYZ from its extensive and expanded European destination network. Mr. Galardo noted that: “(Air Canada) have optimized our schedule to conveniently connect Europe to popular leisure destinations in Florida and Mexico, enabling customers from Spain, France, Italy, the U.K. and Denmark to enjoy one-stop travel to sought-after North American vacation destinations this winter.”
Highlights of the Vancouver (YVR) increases in capacity include the doubling of flights to Las Vegas and Phoenix to 14 per week. Puerto Vallarta and Cancun will have 7 flights per week up from 3 and 4, respectively) with Miami doubling to 6 weekly flights. A larger aircraft will service the YVR – San Diego route to achieve a 110 percent capacity increase. Los Cabos will be served by 2 extra flights over the winter raising the number of flights to 5 per week.
In addition to the increases in service from YVR to Cancun, the popular Mexican destination will see 21 weekly flights from Toronto (up from 11), 14 from Montreal (also up from 11) and 3 weekly flights each from Edmonton, Halifax and Ottawa (up from 2). Quebec City will also see an extra weekly flight to Cancun bringing the total number to four.