Air Canada plans domestic network restart, adds three new routes 

Air Canada plans to operate an extensive domestic schedule this summer as it seeks to move past COVID-19 and the related restrictions that largely shut down air travel in Canada for over a year.

In addition to a widespread resumption of domestic routes planned for this summer, the Canadian flag-carrier will also start three completely new domestic routes from Montreal (YUL).

From July 1, it will operate daily YUL-Deer Lake (YDF) flights with a Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft. From June 26, Air Canada will inaugurate service between YUL and Kelowna (YLW) using an Airbus A220 aircraft. The route will be operated 3X-weekly in July, ramping up to 4X-weekly in August. From Aug. 1, Air Canada will start a daily YUL-Saskatoon (YXE)-Regina (YQR) routing using a CRJ900.

“With Canada’s ongoing vaccine roll-out acceleration, together with various provincial governments’ reopening plans that include travel, this summer is looking brighter,” Air Canada senior VP-network planning and revenue management Mark Galardo said.

“As [passengers] are ready to travel, Air Canada is taking a leadership position to support our partners in Canada's tourism and hospitality sector with service to 50 [domestic] destinations from coast to coast, the restart of regional services and new, nonstop flights.”

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Air Canada and the Canadian government in April reached agreement on a multi-billion-dollar aid package. The deal calls on the airline to restore its domestic network.

The airline noted that it will be providing connectivity to five additional domestic regional markets through interline agreements with third-party regional carriers: Wabush (YWK), Baie Comeau (YBC), Gaspe (YGP), Mont Joli (YYY) and Val d'Or (YVO).

Photo credit: Airbus

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.