Air Canada enRoute - - CONTENT -

We’re con­tin­u­ally search­ing for new des­ti­na­tions so we can take our cus­tomers where they want to go, the way they want to get there.

LET ME SHARE A SE­CRET. A HID­DEN PERK OF work­ing for an air­line is that you are never at a loss for cock­tail-party con­ver­sa­tion. Al­most in­vari­ably, the topic soon turns to well-mean­ing sug­ges­tions of new routes Air Canada should fly.

Such in­ter­est is un­der­stand­able, as our cus­tomers prize the choice our vast net­work af­fords them. To sat­isfy de­mand, we have launched no fewer than 125 new routes since the start of 2013, with an em­pha­sis on in­ter­na­tional ser­vices that makes us one of a hand­ful of global car­ri­ers fly­ing to six con­ti­nents to­day.

We de­vote sig­nif­i­cant re­sources to iden­ti­fy­ing new routes be­cause, with a state-of-the-art wide­body air­craft cost­ing more than $250 mil­lion, each route rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant cap­i­tal com­mit­ment. Two teams, one in­ter­na­tional and one do­mes­tic, eval­u­ate can­di­dates, spend­ing months por­ing over data to iden­tify those we think will suc­ceed.

Among other things, we look at traf­fic flows and busi­ness and leisure trends to de­ter­mine how many pas­sen­gers are likely to travel be­tween two des­ti­na­tions. With Canada’s small pop­u­la­tion, there may be in­suf­fi­cient point-to-point travel to jus­tify cer­tain routes to, say, China or Ja­pan, so we also weigh the po­ten­tial of con­nect­ing traf­fic from for­eign cities to help fill the air­craft. Sched­ul­ing is vi­tal to op­ti­mize con­nec­tiv­ity, par­tic­u­larly be­tween in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic or U.S. flights. Sim­i­larly, we con­tin­u­ally re­fine our air­port pro­cesses and work with air­port au­thor­i­ties to ease hub con­nec­tions.

Based on air­craft avail­able and ex­pected uti­liza­tion, we next es­ti­mate op­er­at­ing costs and rev­enue to cal­cu­late prof­itabil­ity, af­ter which a route may be short­listed for more scru­tiny. Other con­sid­er­a­tions in­clude com­pe­ti­tion, the health of lo­cal economies, busi­ness and trade re­la­tion­ships, reg­u­la­tory and gov­ern­men­tal as­pects, tourism and cul­tural affini­ties, which can de­ter­mine how much travel among friends and fam­ily a route might stim­u­late.

We have in­vested heav­ily to of­fer a best-in-class prod­uct and ser­vice on all new routes. And our suc­cess­ful growth sug­gests we are adept at pick­ing win­ners – vir­tu­ally all 25 routes we launched last sum­mer were quite prof­itable – but we also know that cus­tomers ul­ti­mately de­ter­mine any route’s suc­cess. This is why, whether you are trav­el­ling on a new or well-trav­elled route, Air Canada is com­mit­ted to su­pe­rior cus­tomer ser­vice all along the way. ♦

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