Air Canada rouge stated (25-Jun-2013) it is "all systems go" for the launch of operations on 01-Jul-2013. The carrier has a start-up fleet of four aircraft - two Boeing 767-300ERs and two A319s - with a launch network including Athens from Toronto and Montreal and from its Toronto hub, service to:
- Edinburgh and Venice;
- Punta Cana, Puerto Plata and Samana in the Dominican Republic;
- Varadero, Cayo Coco, Santa Clara and Holguin in Cuba;
- San Jose and Liberia in Costa Rica;
- Kingston, Jamaica.
Other launch details are as follows:
- Regulatory approvals: The carrier confirmed that on 21-Jun-2013, Transport Canada granted Air Canada rouge its Air Operator's Certificate, the result of months of progressive approvals of key stages of operations preparation. Air Canada rouge has also been granted Canadian Transportation Agency licenses that allow commercial operations, all licenses and permissions for foreign Civil Aviation Authorities and all overfly permissions with foreign agencies;
- Crew: The start-up Air Canada rouge crew - 127 members strong - have been issued new uniforms, are fully trained in safety through Air Canada and have completed customer service excellence training. 50 Air Canada rouge pilots have completed transitional training;
- Fleet: Air Canada rouge's start-up fleet of A319 aircraft transitioned from Air Canada have been converted inside and out. The airline's 767-300ERs, also from Air Canada, have been fully converted save the seat configuration which is being completed after the peak Europe summer season. Both aircraft types have the carrier's livery;
- IFE: All Air Canada rouge aircraft are all equipped with player, an IFE system that streams unlimited live entertainment to customers' personal electronic devices. Unlimited access to TV shows and movies will be free for the month of Jul-2013 and will be permanently complimentary for Premium rouge customers. Staring 01-Aug-2013, rouge Plus and rouge customers will pay a CAD5 fee for unlimited movie and TV show access and the music and About Us channels will always be complimentary;
- Inflight configuration:
- A319: 24 new slimline rouge Plus seats in a 3 +3 configuration and 118 new slimline rouge seats in a 3 + 3 configuration;
- 767-300ER: 18 Premium rouge seats in a 2 + 2 configuration in a separate cabin, 14 Rouge Plus seating in select locations in the main cabin and 232 rouge seating in a 2+3+2 configuration. Once reconfigured to the new Air Canada rouge interiors in 2014, will offer 282 seats with a separate cabin of 24 Premium rouge seats, 28 rouge Plus seats and 230 rouge seats.
- Brand development: With its name, livery, color palette, aircraft interior design and initial brand personality announced in Dec-2012, Air Canada rouge said its brand has been further developed into a "distinct personality across multiple customer touch points". [more - original PR]