7/01/2013: First Flight of Air Canada Rouge

7/01/2013: First Flight of Air Canada Rouge

DALLAS – Today in Aviation, Canadian leisure operator Air Canada Rouge (RV) took to the skies for the first time in 2013.

The airline’s inaugural flight – RV1920 – operated with an Airbus A319ceo, departed Toronto (YYZ) bound for Kingston, Jamaica (KIN). It was followed shortly afterward by a flight to Liberia, Costa Rica.

Air Canada Rouge C-GBHY Airbus A319. Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways

An Airline-Within-An-Airline

Launched in December 2012, Rouge was Air Canada’s (AC) attempt to compete in the growing Canadian leisure market. The carrier became Air Canada’s third airline-within-an-airline. Tango (AC) was a no-frills carrier launched in 2001, followed by Zip (3J) in 2002. Both were closed down in 2004. 

On launch day the airline offered 23 routes to destinations including the Caribbean, Mexico, Florida, and Las Vegas. Initial international routes were offered to Athens (ATH), Edinburgh (EDI), and Venice (VCE). As the carrier expanded, further destinations were transferred over from Air Canada’s mainline network. 

Air Canada Rouge C-GEOQ Boeing 767-375(ER). Photo: John Leivaditis/Airways


Rouge was established with a fleet of two Boeing 767-300ERs and two Airbus A319ceos, all of which had been transferred over from the mainline fleet. The leisure-orientated carrier squeezed extra seats into its hand-me-down aircraft to reduce unit costs. On the A319 seating increased from 120 while operating with Air Canada to 142 with Rouge. The 767 went from 211 to 264.

Further aircraft were transferred over from AC as they received deliveries of their new Boeing 787s and 777s. At its peak, Rouge operated 22 A319s and 25 767s. Today the carrier operates a fleet made up entirely of Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft.

Featured image: Air Canada Rouge C-GARJ Airbus A319-114. Photo: Liam Funnel/Airways

European Deputy Editor
Writer and aviation fanatic, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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