In a rather unfortunate but clear cost cutting measure, Air Canada (AC) has decided to transfer their existing Bogota flights to their regional/long haul low cost subsidiary Air Canada Rouge.
AC will maintain the same schedules and will even operate the same Boeing 767-300 equipment on the route, but on a Rouge aircraft which means higher density seating and less Business Class availability. The soft product will also suffer in that Rouge offers a much more ‘no frills’ approach to in flight service (not that Air Canada is that well known for that aspect of their product) – but again, that does mean none of the flat beds that AC offers or personal TVs in the premium cabin anymore – a huge downgrade.
One must assume that Bogota was suffering under an Air Canada cost structure that is much higher then their (relatively) new baby in Rouge. I’d think that Air Canada will maintain ticket prices to relatively the same level but offer much less in return – as a Star Alliance frequent flier my money is on Avianca starting up Toronto and serving as the ‘full service’ option, with Rouge moving to more ‘charter’ or lower yielding VFR – or ‘Visiting Friends and Relatives’ traffic – who are price sensitive and don’t go for the frills but rather for the dollar spent.
We’ll see if Avianca makes the move but it might be a good idea for them to at least explore.
Regardless, here are the newly published schedules for the Bogota Rogue service:
AC1944 Toronto 0815 – 1410 Bogota 763 Tue/Thu/Sun
AC1945 Bogota 1530 – 2140 Toronto 763 Tue/Thu/Sun
Again, as a Star Alliance guy I’m really not sure how to feel about this move – Rouge was originally started to supplement leisure traffic and fly charters – this move into Bogota might signal a move into new territory and a new strategy for Air Canada and Star fliers. One that someone like me, who prefers the traditional full service carriers, might not like.
Time will tell.