A new low-cost division of Air Canada, called Rouge, is set to launch on July 1, 2013. Rouge will fly to Europe and the Caribbean and is expected to have up to 50 aircraft within five years after starting out with four. Rouge passengers will get free hot meals on transatlantic flights, but you’ll have to pay for luggage and snacks to Caribbean destinations. Aeroplan points will be offered, but they will be calculated differently and information about how they will be calculated has not yet been released. The cabins will feature Rouge Plus and Rouge Premium designations, adding more legroom and other amenities.
Rouge will fly from Montreal to Athens, Venice and Edinburgh as well as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Costa Rica with more destinations added as demand warrants.
Bottom line: Low-cost competitor WestJet intends to launch an international airline in three to five years.