Air Canada Increases Flights in Western Canada; Deploys New Q400 Aircraft this Winter

MONTREAL, Oct. 18, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today announced that it is boosting capacity on regional routes across Western Canada this fall and winter to meet demand.  The airline will also be gradually introducing new state-of-the-art Bombardier Q-400 Next Gen aircraft operated by Air Canada Jazz under the Air Canada Express brand on key markets from Calgary and Edmonton beginning next year.

"Air Canada is increasing capacity this fall and winter on key regional routes reflecting strong demand within Western Canada, the centre of the country's energy and resource industries," said Marcel Forget, Air Canada's Vice President, Network Planning.  "These changes are designed to meet the needs of Western Canadian business travelers, who overwhelmingly prefer Air Canada for travel within Canada.  According to the recent 2012 Canadian Business Travel Survey conducted by Ipsos Reid, Air Canada was the preferred airline for more than 80% of frequent business travellers in Western Canada, the highest level seen over the past eight years.

"Starting next February, Air Canada will be scheduling new Q-400 aircraft on regional routes across Western Canada to replace smaller Bombardier CRJ aircraft.  Air Canada Express flights are scheduled to enable convenient, point-to-point same day business travel, as well as convenient and easy connections to Air Canada's extensive domestic, US and international network at Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.  In addition, customers collect Aeroplan Miles through Canada's leading loyalty program when travelling with Air Canada."

Increased services this fall and winter compared to last year include:

Calgary-Fort McMurray 7 daily (from 6 daily) 350 daily seats (from 300)
Calgary-Grande Prairie 5 daily (from 4 daily) 250 daily seats (from 200)
Calgary-Yellowknife 2 daily (from 1 daily) 100 daily seats (from 50)
Edmonton-Fort McMurray 7 daily (from 6 daily) 350 daily seats (from 300)
Edmonton-Regina 2 daily (from 1 daily) 100 daily seats (from 50)
Edmonton-Saskatoon 2 daily (from 1 daily) 100 daily seats (from 50)
Vancouver-Fort St. John 5 daily (from 4 daily) 250 daily seats (from 200)
Vancouver-Nanaimo 7 daily (from 6 daily) 350 daily seats (from 300)

In February, 2013, Air Canada will begin gradually deploying made-in-Canada Bombardier Dash 8 Q-400 NextGen aircraft on routes within Western Canada, replacing 50-seat CRJ aircraft.  The new ultra-quiet, Q-400 aircraft featuring 74 all-leather seats with roomy overhead bins will initially be scheduled on the following routes:

Calgary-Fort McMurray February, 2013
Calgary-Regina February, 2013
Calgary-Saskatoon February, 2013
Calgary-Yellowknife April, 2013
Calgary-Grande Prairie March, 2013
Calgary-Victoria March, 2013
Calgary-Edmonton March, 2013
Edmonton-Fort McMurray March, 2013
Edmonton-Yellowknife April, 2013
Edmonton-Winnipeg May, 2013

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 175 destinations on five continents.  Canada's flag carrier is the 15th largest commercial airline in the world and in 2011 served more than 33 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 59 Canadian cities, 56 destinations in the United States and 63 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,356 destinations in 193 countries. In 2012, Air Canada was ranked Best International Airline in North America in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers conducted by independent research firm Skytrax.

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For further information:

Isabelle Arthur (Montréal)  514 422-5788
Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto)  416 263-5576
Angela Mah (Vancouver)  604 270-5741

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