Air Canada today announced that it will undertake a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to select a new regional airline to operate certain existing U.S. regional transborder routes, starting in mid-2014.
Select Canadian and U.S. regional carriers will be invited to participate in the RFP process and submit their respective pricing and other terms and conditions of carriage.
"The launch of a request for proposals is an important next step in our regional airline diversification strategy and ongoing cost transformation program," said Kevin Howlett, Senior Vice President, Regional Markets. "Over the past two years, Air Canada has made significant changes to its strategy and relationship with its regional partners, now all operating under the Air Canada Express banner. Most recently, we transferred the operation of our Embraer 175 aircraft to a regional carrier whose cost structure is more in line with the U.S. regional carriers, and as low cost operators continue to grow in the rapidly evolving North American regional markets, it is critical for Air Canada to take the necessary steps to ensure its cost structure in these markets is also competitive."
Air Canada currently has capacity purchase agreements with four regional airline partners: Jazz, Sky Regional, Air Georgian and EVAS.
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 175 destinations on five continents. Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2012 served close to 35 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 60 Canadian cities, 49 destinations in the United States and 67 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,328 destinations in 195 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax that ranked Air Canada in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers as Best Airline in North America in 2013 for the fourth consecutive year.
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