Air Canada Rouge Resumes Operations

After months of hibernation, a downsized Air Canada Rouge is back in the skies. The now all-narrowbody leisure airline resumed operations with an A321 service from Toronto to Cancun on Monday morning.

Air Canada Rouge resumes operations
Air Canada Rouge is back in the air with a flight from Toronto Pearson to Cancun in Mexico. Photo: Getty Images

On Monday, Air Canada Rouge, the low-cost subsidiary of Air Canada, resumed operations. Flight AC1810 from Toronto to Cancun on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula marked the carrier’s first flight since it suspended operations due to the ongoing health crisis.

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First step towards rebuilding leisure network

The resumption flight took off from Toronto Pearson in Ontario, Canada, at 09:56 this morning. It landed in Cancun 45 minutes behind schedule at 13:25. Cancun is normally the destination for over half of annual Canadian visitors to Mexico.

The Yucatan peninsula is one of the few Mexico regions to which the Canadian government currently does not advise against non-essential travel. Meanwhile, the plan is to slowly rebuild the carrier’s North American leisure network.

“Air Canada Rouge remains an important part of our overall strategy in rebuilding Air Canada’s global network. As leisure traffic resumes, we will progressively add Air Canada Rouge to select North American leisure markets from Eastern Canada,” said Mark Galardo, Vice President, Network Planning and Alliances at Air Canada in a statement seen by Simple Flying.

Air Canada Rouge
All but two of Air Canada Rouge’s planes remain parked. Photo: Getty Images

Only two aircraft currently active

The flight was operated by one of the airline’s 14 A321s, registered as C-JTX. It is one of Air Canada Rouge’s only two aircraft currently listed as active. Looking ahead, it is scheduled for a trip to Kingston Norman Manley International Airport in Jamaica on November 3rd. While the Canadian Government is advising against all non-essential travel to the Caribbean island nation, its land- and sea-borders are open to all foreign travelers.

Its sibling aircraft, C-FJOU, only flew from long-term storage at Pinal Airpark in Arizona on Sunday. While the aircraft was supposed to operate a flight from Toronto to Kingston today, November 2nd, the service ended up being canceled due to unknown causes.

Air Canada Rogue resumes operations
Air Canada Rouge will operate some transatlantic routes with its A321s in the future. Photo: Air Canada

Now an all-narrowbody fleet

Air Canada Rouge is coming out of hibernation as a downsized and quite different airline. Its fleet of aging widebody Boeing 767s, with which it used to operate its European routes, have all been retired. Most effective immediately back in March, while the last exited the fleet in June. 

Air Canada‘s leisure branch is now left with only single-aisle aircraft; four A320s and 14 A321s. Most of the airline’s previous European destinations, such as Zagreb, Athens, and Budapest will be impossible to reach with the remainder of its fleet. However, its parent group plans for the carrier to operate some transatlantic routes with its smaller Airbus aircraft.

What do you think Air Canada’s steps for its leisure branch will be moving forward? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.