Over the past couple of years there has been significant growth in routes between London and Canada, notably with the launch of flights by Canadian airline WestJet this summer from London Gatwick to a number of cities in Canada.
Although WestJet’s entry into the long-haul market was far from smooth with significant technical problems with its fleet of 2nd hand aircraft, it is pressing ahead with its long-haul operation at London Gatwick.
Air Canada responded by launching flights operated by its budget airline Air Canada Rouge from London Gatwick to Toronto last year.
In the summer of 2017, Air Canada Rouge will expand its routes further, launching a direct route from London Gatwick to Vancouver.
The route will operate on a summer seasonal basis, three times weekly (on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) from 8 June 2017 until 7 October 2017.
Air Canada Rouge flights will be operated by a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with 24 Premium rouge seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and 256 rouge/rouge+ seats in a 2-3-2 configuration.
Passengers travelling in the Premium rouge cabin have lounge access at the airport, a complimentary checked baggage allowance, complimentary food and drink and free use of a tablet for in-flight entertainment.
Passengers travelling in the main rouge cabin have complimentary food and drink and can download an app to watch in flight entertainment on their smartphone or tablet. There is no seat back in-flight entertainment.
This route will compete with not only Air Transat and WestJet at London Gatwick, but also its own parent airline Air Canada and British Airways at London Heathrow.
At London Heathrow both Air Canada and BA use more modern aircraft with Air Canada using the Boeing 787 and BA often operating the Airbus A380 on this route in the summer season.
At the time of writing flights are not yet on sale, but they should be shortly at Fly Rouge.
London Gatwick – Vancouver
Flight AC1935 Depart London Gatwick 12:00 – Arrive Vancouver 14:10 (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)
Flight AC1934 Depart Vancouver 16:45 – Arrive London Gatwick 10:25 (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)
Air Canada Rouge’s flight to Toronto is being reduced from daily to 4x weekly to accommodate this new route.
Update February 2018: This route will not return in the summer of 2018. Air Canada Rouge will continue to fly between London Gatwick and Toronto on a summer seasonal basis.