Air Canada To Restart Toronto-Manchester Route

Photo Credit: Emil Bree/AviationSource
Photo Credit: Emil Bree/AviationSource

LONDON – Canada’s flag carrier airline Air Canada (ACA), has announced that it will be returning its summer seasonal Manchester, United Kingdom route.

Mainline making a return…

The scheduled service will restart from June 1, 2022, however, much to our surprise, the flight will be operated by mainline Air Canada this time around instead of Air Canada Rouge which had operated the service up until recently, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flight AC808 will depart Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ) at 21:00 pm local time and arrive at Manchester Airport (MAN) at 09:00 am local time the following morning.

The return flight AC809 will leave Manchester at 12:15 pm local time and arrive in Toronto at 14:55 pm local time.

The service will run from June 1 to September 30 and will operate five times a week on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.

Commenting on the restarting of the route, Air Canada’s General Manager of Sales for the UK and Ireland, Stephen Gerrard:

“This is very exciting news for our customers in Manchester who can start planning their next trip to rediscover Canada. Our non-stop flight between Manchester and Toronto will provide our customers in the northwest of England with a direct link to Canada and beyond.”

Alongside Gerrard’s comments, Manchester Airport’s Interim Managing Director, Ian Costigan said:

“We are thrilled to see Air Canada return to Manchester Airport as we play our part in reconnecting our region with the world.”

“The service to Toronto is fantastic news for companies large and small across the North who do business with Canada, and also for tourism and those visiting friends and family.”

“It is also great to see the carrier return with its mainline service, offering a high-quality product with both business and premium economy classes.”

Air Canada will serve the route using their Airbus A330-300 aircraft, of which they have a total of 16 Airbus A330-300s in their fleet.

Their Airbus A330s have a mixed configuration, three are currently used as preighters (passenger freighters) where the cabin has had its seats removed to accommodate pallets on the main deck as part of their COVID-19 recovery program, 11 of them have a configuration of 32 Signature Class (first) seats, 24 Premium Economy class seats and 241 Economy class seats and finally, two of their aircraft have a slightly older configuration of 27 Signature-class seats, 21 Premium Economy class seats and 244 Economy class seats.

What happened to Rouge?

Air Canada had previously operated their Manchester service using their leisure subsidiary carrier, Air Canada Rouge. However, the service had stopped at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic with travel being heavily restricted.

Air Canada Rouge used to operate the route using their Boeing 767-300ER (Extended Range) aircraft, of which they had 25, however, those aircraft were retired during the pandemic as the leisure carrier wanted to shift to an all-Airbus operator. Some of these 767’s will be converted to freighters and Air Canada will then begin to operate them under their Air Canada Cargo arm, of which they already have two 767 BDSFs (BeDek Special Freighter) in service.

Air Canada Rouge now only operates a fleet of Airbus A319s, A320s, and A321s. It currently has 20 A319s, five A320s and 14 A321’s for a total of 39 aircraft.

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