Air Canada gets into the Low Cost Carrier Game by going Rogue

It looks like Air Canada is getting into the low cost carrier arena by introducing their version of a brand new, low cost airline. Air Canada Rogue will take flight this summer to popular vacation destinations to Europe and the Caribbean. The first start up destinations will be Edinburgh, Scotland, Venice, Italy and Athens, Greece. The more tropical locations will focus on locations in Cuba, Costa Rica, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.


The new airline will introduce the routes on two Air Canada Boeing 767-300s and two Airbus A319 aircraft. The airline will begin to use the aircraft once they begin to take delivery of their new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in 2014.


The new airline plans to hire 150 flight attendants and 50 pilots. All of which will make lower wages than those at mainline Air Canada. According to experts, the airline plans to have half of their savings come from offering lower wages and benefit.


Exerts also add the 767s will be equipped with an additional 50 more seats than the mainline version of the aircraft. Rogue will eliminate a single first and business class cabin and make the airplane primarily standard economy, enhanced economy and premium seating.


The idea of a mainline carrier adding a low cost arm isn’t a new one and has been attempted and failed many times before. In the U.S we say Song which was Delta, Ted was United, Continental Lite and Metrojet for U.S Airways. None lasted more than a few years. All of them failed due to a heavy build up competing low cost airlines like Southwest and JetBlue into the domestic marker. Currently, Air Canada’s main competition is with WestJet which in a sense is Canada’s Southwest Airlines.


The ideas of mainline creating a low cost airline did yield some benefits and new ideas which would later be passed down to the mainline operators. For example, Delta’s Song was equipped with personal seat back monitors for watching movies, listening to music and playing games. The same set up is not available on much of Delta’s current fleet.


Rogue planes will be the first of any Air Canada airplane to use a new wireless, inflight entertainment set up. The jets in the fleet will stream stored content to lap tops and other portable devices.