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New Airline Alert: Air Canada Rouge, Flying to Cuba and Beyond in 2013

Where: Canada
December 18, 2012 at 11:58 AM | by | ()

Hey look! There's fun new airline stuff happening up in the Canada, too! Today, Air Canada makes the announcement that they're proceeding with the launch of a low-cost carrier little brother airline, to be called Air Canada rouge, a name decided through a Facebook contest. Yes, that "R" is lowercase, but we're going to uppercase it from here on out to save our sanity.

Beginning July 1, 2013, Air Canada Rouge will jet from Toronto to a variety of international destinations, some never before serviced by Air Canada itself. We're talking Venice, Edinburgh and Athens from $949 roundtrip, Cuba from $538 (roundtrip) and Jamaica, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic from $269 (one-way). These are the introductory, yay-we-will-fly-soon fares to get you all hot and bothered, and they're good for booking on aircanada.com and aircanadavacations.com until December 25, 2011.

Rouge will only be nabbing four planes from Air Canada's mainline fleet to begin with, two Boeing 767-300ERs and two Airbus A319s. Five years from now, they'd like to have a whopping 50 planes tarted up in the Rouge livery for leisure routes, not to mention that Air Canada's package vacation business will be funneled into Rouge flights.

Luckily they've got the jumpstart on another Canadian low-cost carrier due to launch; we're talking about WestJet Encore, which will focus on undermining Air Canada's domestic routes, though it isn't due to start doing its thing until later in 2013. Rouge will mainly compete with WestJet's Vacations sector, as well as Sunwing and Air Transat on their leisure routes.

Let's see that new livery again!

Launch destinations, from Toronto unless otherwise specified:
Venice, Italy (brand new!)
Edinburgh, Scotland (brand new!)
Athens, Greece (from Montreal & Toronto)
Varadero, Cuba
Cayo Coco, Cuba
Holguin, Cuba
Santa Clara, Cuba
San Jose, Costa Rice
Liberia, Costa Rica
Kingston, Jamaica
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Samana, Dominican Republic

Will Air Canada Rouge seamlessly link up with other Star Alliance flights at Toronto-Pearson? YES, with through ticketing and checked baggage, even.

Will you earn miles with Aeroplan or Star Alliance for Air Canada Rouge flights? YES.

Will there be a business class? YES, if you're flying on their 767s. Here's the cabin make-up, straight from the official press release:

The Air Canada rouge fleet will initially be comprised of two Boeing 767-300ER aircraft to operate transatlantic flights in a two-cabin configuration offering a selection of rouge Plus™ seats with additional legroom and Premium rouge™ seats featuring additional seating comfort, space and enhanced meal and beverage service; and two Airbus A319 aircraft to operate North American flights in an all-economy configuration offering a selection of rouge Plus seats with additional legroom.

Still curious? Rouge has its own site with all the info you could ever want.

[Images: Air Canada]

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