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Air Canada to Launch Air Canada Express Sunday

posted May 2, 2011, 11:56 PM by Rowan Hewitt

Low cost carrier Air Canada Express will replace Jazz brand.Air Canada’s new low cost carrier brand Air Canada Express will launch this Sunday. The new air service will start with routes between Montreal and Billy Bishop Toronto City airport.

Using five Q400 aircrafts from Frontier Airlines (FRNT 0.49↑0.00%), Sky Regional will begin the contracted service. Eventually Jazz Air, an Air Canada affiliate brand, will contribute an additional 120 planes after scheduled maintenance and paint updates. Those paired with 15 new Bombardier (BBD-B 7.05↑0.00%) Q400s will round out the aircraft options for the new airline.

Jazz Air is on the path to elimination. The Jazz brand was created a decade ago by Air Canada to unify regional airline services provided by Air Ontario, Air BC, Air Nova and Canadian Regional Airlines.

Air Canada also currently contracts with several other carriers to provide regional service to destinations such as Air Georgian, Exploit Valley Air and Central Mountain Air. Air Canada also recently added Sky Regional to that flight-share process.

“In the U.S. and in Europe, a lot of big airlines use multiple carriers for their regional feed. We were looking to expand that as well,” Ben Smith, Air Canada’s chief commercial officer, said Wednesday, in a statement to the Canadian Press.

Air Canada has regional unification plans for Air Canada Express as well as its already announced low fare options.

To stay abreast of the competition, new service will offer beverages and food. “We also expect to regain some of the customers that we lost to the competition,” continued Smith.

Air Canada is currently promoting Express with low fare offerings.