By Lauren K. OhnesorgeSenior Staff Writer, Triangle Business Journal
Raleigh-Durham International Airport has scored its seventh nonstop international destination.
Air Canada announced Wednesday it will start serving RDU-Montreal on June 3.
The airline already offers a nonstop flight between RDU and Toronto. And it’s upgrading its Toronto services with both RDU and Charlotte – introducing larger planes “to increase capacity on these routes and introduce Business Class service,” the company stated.
“While always a popular leisure destination, North Carolina is also experiencing strong economic growth and Air Canada is making it more convenient and comfortable for customers to travel between Canada and the state,” stated Mark Galardo, vice president of networking planning.
The Raleigh-to-Montreal service will use a 50-seat Canadair Regional Jet.
Starting May 1, RDU’s thrice-daily flights to Toronto will be upgraded to a 76-seat Embraer E175. Right now, both that flight and Charlotte’s twice-daily trip to Toronto use a CRJ. The Charlotte route is also getting an upgrade.
All flights, according to the airline, are timed to connect with Air Canada’s global network through its hubs in Toronto and Montreal.
For RDU, the Montreal flight is another win in what has been a banner year for its network expansion. Montreal started the year tied with Shanghai as the fifth most-unserved international market for RDU, in terms of passengers already traveling between the two cities each day.
Since then, RDU has announced nonstop flights to Jamaica’s Montego Bay and the Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana – leaving just Mexico City, Beijing, Montreal and Shanghai on that initial top-five list.
Air Canada has a long history at RDU, as it was the first international carrier to offer nonstop flights at the airport when it started its RDU-Toronto service in 1996. It’s the only route currently offered by the airline at RDU.
Last year, Air Canada enplaned more than 44,000 passengers at RDU, and held just 0.8 percent of the airport’s total market share.
Air Canada’s RDU growth, in terms of enplaned passengers:
- 2018 (so far): 33,301
- 2017: 44,224
- 2016: 37,607
- 2015: 33,797
- 2014: 22,177
Article Source: Triangle Business Journal