Topic of the Week: Air Canada Launches rouge

We now know a little more about Air Canada’s low cost carrier including the fact that it will be named rouge. (That’s right, not capitalized. I hate that.) Flights are to leisure destinations in Europe and the Caribbean and we now know some of the cities. So do the details make you like this plan any better?

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46 Comments on "Topic of the Week: Air Canada Launches rouge"

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Kathryn Creedy
Guest

I still don’t get why these low-cost offshoots of legacy airlines will be any more successful than Ted or Song. No one has covered that angle. I can’t see that anything is different now, just more bottom line oriented, which indicates this is crazy. Happening in Asia, too.

Sean S.
Guest

If there is one saving grace in Asia, is the sheer number of people and the movement of large groups of those people for work. There simply isn’t, and likely never will be, that amount of movement amongst developed countries of pax who need low-cost international flights.

Oliver
Guest

The developed world instead has a movement of large groups of pasty white people to beach locations ;)

(how it compares in scale I don’t know)

steve
Guest

Ryanair carries more passengers in Europe than anyone else, almost entirely internationally – and within developed countries. Although Southwest is domestic-only, some of its routes are comparable in length. And Westjet has a large international operation as well.

Do you mean wide-body fleet instead, maybe?

noahkimmel
Member

I agree that AC has not provided a reason why this will be more successful than other attempts. But the logic does make sense–lower costs, compete for leisure Pax (hopefully not cannibalizing your other ops) with other airlines, be able to grow with profit expectation, match advantages of some of the LCCs, and hopefully connect with better with a product that matches this customer segment.

I think there is more here than just bored executives looking for their next thrill, but I agree the perfected model has not yet been introduced or articulated.

CS
Guest

Well Canada didn’t get the 80’s until 1992, so… it’s only right that they are just now getting low-cost offshoots.

Nathaniel
Member

Didn’t they already try this with Tango? The only difference I see is that it’s a longer distance.. I don’t see how this will work.

Trent880
Guest

Not only did they start Tango (and Zip) before, but it was the same guy that came up with Tango that is running Rouge. Third time’s a charm!

Chris
Guest

you hate jetBlue’s spelling too?

Sanjeev M
Guest

Is this just a higher density configuration for leisure Caribbean and Europe routes?

I don’t know why they just don’t call it that and not ruffle feathers in the union, especially since all these flights are under the AC code. Or are the labor costs at AC really that high that it justifies a separate airline?

The livery is nice though…

SEAN
Guest

Just makes me see red.

Nathaniel
Member

Da boom boom.. lol

DesertGhost
Guest

The history of these kinds of airlines makes one skeptical to say the least.

DesertGhost
Guest

Maybe the airline was named for the color of the ink in which its earnings reports may very well be written.

David SF eastbay
Member

Dumb name.

It’s still AC but offering lower fares to a few vacation destinations where they don’t have to provide top of the line inflight service because it’s rouge and not ‘Air Canada’ (wink wink).

If the same people with the same bank account can’t make AC work, slapping a stuipd name like ‘rouge’ on the side of your airplanes isn’t going to fill that bank account and make everything okey dokey at AC.

canuck_in_ca
Guest

Interesting to look at the fleet pages. For now Rouge has 2 A319 all-economy and 3 B763 with lie-flat biz ripped out and domestic First seats instead. Econ seats are 31-32″ pitch.

J Gorham
Guest

Isn’t a rouge worth one point in Canada? (Of course, that would imply that their airplanes never get out of the end zone…)

Jim M
Guest

I thought the exact same thing. Very odd. . .

Jake Redman
Guest

I happen to like that they don’t capitalize the name. haha.

A
Guest
I was in YYC this week and being home of WestJet I can see why AC needs to do something. Canadians rave about their “Southwest” clone but gripe up and down about AC. Sure do see a lot of people on WestJet going to warm weather destinations. That said the problem in Canada isn’t exactly the airlines, it’s the absurdly expensive airports, taxes and fees. When traveling from a major US hub there shouldn’t be a $200+ dollar difference between the Canadian airport and a cross border (usually smaller) US airport. I know many Canadians that are crossing the border… Read more »
canuck_in_ca
Guest

I used to do that when I was going to West Toronto (Burlington area) a lot. Pearson was $1000 but flying into Buffalo was $500.

Chicago Chris
Member

I think Cranky has written articles about how no low-cost airline has succeeded taking people across the Atlantic. Part of this reminds me of the ill-fated Zoom Airlines.

jboekhoud
Member

Air Transat seems to have done well.

jboekhoud
Member
@Noah: AC currently services most of these routes, particularly to the Caribbean, using their standard mainline crew and aircraft. That means high labour costs, low seating density, and business cabins with little or no paid J traffic. The rouge A319s will be in a high-density, all-Y configuration with no IFE, power, etc. to better compete with the discount carriers. I believe they may be using separate (non-union?) crews as well, which further lowers operating costs. @Trent880: This situation is a little different. Zip and Tango primarily flew domestic routes within Canada to compete with Westjet, although I think Tango did… Read more »
David M
Guest

The only successful example I can think of of a LCC spinoff of a mainline carrier is JetStar. I’m not certain, but I think they’re actually doing better financially than Qantas itself.

Todd
Guest

I think Cathay’s Dragonair and Singapore’s SilkAir both do okay.

Axelsarkiss
Member

Yeah, I’ve heard that they are doing better that Qantas. But that is not saying much, is it?

kelty
Member

Wish airlines would simply tell us which flights have excess capacity and price them accordingly. It doesn’t make economic sense to start another sub-airline like Tango.

ptahcha
Guest

Ugh – why bother. Should we just start a death watch count down clock?

Todd in IAD
Guest
Yet another misguided atempt. History is full of “airline within and airline” pieces of memorabilia. This silly attempt by rouge, a mere five years from now will be nothing more than a collectable on ebay. It cheapens the mainline product by acknowledging they’re overpriced and mis-managed. In the end both mainline and subsidiary are fools who’ve lost money. If one wants to offer a return ticket from Toronto to the islands for a mere $300 round-trip, do so with the name of Air Canada on the tail. This is all a miserable exercise to make rock-star executives with newly minted… Read more »
yo
Guest

Hey, maybe we can restart Roots air eh?

This time they can last 2 weeks.

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