The scheduled launch of low-cost division Rouge by Air Canada in July could not have had a worse timing for its undeviating competitor, Montreal’s Transat A.T. Sources affiliated with travel wholesale company have asserted that Air Transat is already “losing its shirt” to Sunwing for the Cuba market.
The President of Air Transat, Allen Graham, made a statement in November, during a private routine monthly meeting with employees, discussing “a renewed effort (at) being leaders in the Caribbean markets in offering new flexibility in booking packages.” The source, which opted not to reveal their identity since they are not at liberty to speak about company issues, further quoted him saying that “but Air Canada was not really a focal point of the four-hour meeting. Either because this is a ‘been there, done that’ thing with (Air Canada), or because they had little info at the time, or because they’re scared and don’t want it to trickle through the rumour vine.”
Rouge is scheduled to fly to Venice and Edinburgh, which are key cities where Air Canada does not currently provide services. Moreover, it will also be serving Athens. Transat will by flying to Venice and Athens, though not Edinburgh. Moreover, the newly launched discount carrier will be prioritizing to serve the Caribbean market from Montreal and Toronto. The Chief Commercial Officer of Air Canada, Ben Smith, announced in Toronto that demands in those areas has been growing. He stated that “with the introduction today of Air Canada Rouge, Air Canada enters today’s growing leisure travel market on a truly competitive basis.”
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