First Air Canada Rouge Flight Arrives in Kingston From Toronto
Above: the first Air Canada Rouge flight (JIS Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The first-ever Air Canada Rouge flight touched down at Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport on Monday.
Air Canada Rouge, Air Canada’s new leisure carrier, is operating daily service to Kingston from Toronto from Monday to Friday.
In November, Rouge will be launching service to Montego Bay on its Boeing 767 300 ER equipment, according to Michael Friisdhal, president and CEO of Air Canada Leisure.
“With today’s arrival of the inaugural Rouge flight, we expect [an] increase in visitors from Canada to continue for many years to come,” said Tourism Minister Wykeham McNeill. “The ties between Toronto and Kingston are many and varied, and we congratulate Air Canada Rouge for not only recognizing that, but strengthening that.”
McNeill said he hoped the arrival of the new service would broaden tourist offerings in the country, where places like Negril and Montego Bay are well known to Canadian visitors, but others, like Port Antonio and Kingston, are largely unknown.
“We see the arrival of Rouge in Kingston as an opportunity to introduce more Canadians to the unique and often unexplored pleasures of our capital city and Port Antonio, Jamaica’s most eco-friendly town,” he said. “Plus, the expansion and improvements to the Norman Manley International Airport will contribute substantially to this goal.”
The Rouge service is part of an expansion in Jamaica for Air Canada.
“Our flights this summer will continue to be operated by Air Canada and capacity will remain more or less like prior years,” Friisdhal said. “However, for winter we will increase seats into Kingston from Toronto by a further 13 percent and with the addition of our Rouge Boeing 767 to Montego Bay, our capacity from Toronto will increase by 56 percent.”
He said the company would also look to add gateways linking Vancouver and Calgary to Jamaica “in the near term.”
Cuba and the Dominican Republic will also be among Rouge’s new destinations.