Air Canada has announced a series of enhancements of Atlantic Canada services starting in winter.

Overall capacity is set to increase by 8% as some routes transfer to its subsidiary Air Canada Rouge, and other Air Canada Rouge and mainline services will be extended to year-round.

Mark Galardo, vice-president of network planning at Air Canada said the service enhancements “clearly demonstrate our commitment to these markets as we increase capacity on numerous routes in Atlantic Canada, which we have been serving year-round since 1942, longer than any other carrier.”

Galardo added: “With the introduction of Air Canada Rouge service to Saint John, NB, the extension of Rouge on Charlottetown-Toronto and the expansion of Halifax-Calgary flights to year-round service, Atlantic Canada will enjoy an improved product and convenient connections throughout Air Canada’s extensive North American and global network.”

Beginning 27 October, twice daily Saint John-Toronto flights will be operated year-round by Air Canada Rouge using an Airbus A319 – replacing the Bombardier Q400s. The airline said this represents a 16% increase in available seats and also suggests it will offer an upgraded customer experience on the A319, featuring Premium Rouge and Economy cabins as well as streaming in-flight entertainment.

President and CEO of Saint John Airport, Derrick Stanford, said the decision to enhance YSJ’s current offering with bigger aircraft “will mean more capacity, business-class service and faster flight times to connection banks like Toronto, something our business passengers have come to depend on.”

Air Canada operates out of four airports in New Brunswick with roughly 1,600 daily seats available. Now operated year-round by Air Canada Rouge will be service from Toronto to Moncton (three times a day) and Frederiction (twice a day) also operated by an Airbus A319, representing a 16% capacity increase through the winter season.

Charlottetown-Toronto flights operated by Air Canada Rouge in the summer will become year-round service as of 16 December 2019 with two daily flights operated with an Airbus A319. Air Canada offers nonstop flights from Charlottetown to Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto.

Doug Newson, CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority said: “We are very pleased with Air Canada’s announcement today of Air Canada Rouge service in Charlottetown for Winter 2019/2020. These larger Air Canada Rouge jets will offer added capacity on the Charlottetown-Toronto route and is a direct response to demand in the PEI market in the winter time.”

“This will result in more travel options for Islanders and those wishing to visit or do business here. The increased capacity to and from Air Canada’s Toronto hub also means Islanders have more options to connect to Air Canada’s extensive global network,” Newson continued.

Air Canada is also adding a second daily flight between Gander, NL and Halifax during the winter season to be operated year-round on the Bombardier Q400.

From Halifax, Air Canada mainline will operate year-round non-stop service to Calgary on an Airbus A319 beginning 1 March 2020.

Air Canada also recently inaugurated non-stop service between Montreal and Sydney, Nova Scotia for the summer season.

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