Air Canada is bringing its new Q400 planes to Victoria International Airport early next month for flights to and from Calgary — a move that will make the trips a little longer.
The company’s website shows the Bombardier-made Q400 aircraft coming into service on March 1, leaving Victoria at 8:45 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. for the one-hour, 29-minute flight.
The turboprop aircraft with 74 seats are being operated by Jazz Aviation LP under the Air Canada Express brand. They replace the 50-seat CRJ aircraft and will take between five and 10 minutes longer to make the Victoria-Calgary flight, said Geoff Dickson, president and chief executive officer of the Victoria Airport Authority.
Passengers, however, will experience a quiet, comfortable ride on the Q400s, Dickson said Monday.
Q400s are less costly to fly because their fuel consumption is lower than the jets that have been used, he said.
Air Canada introduced Q400s to its Western Canada service on Friday, starting with flights between Calgary and Fort McMurray, Alta., and Regina and Saskatoon. Calgary is the headquarters of competitor WestJet, which will also be bringing Q400s into service.
WestJet spokesman Robert Palmer said in a statement Monday the company will make an announcement later this month on where its new Q400s will fly.
Air Canada said its Q400s have roomy overhead bins, leather seats and 31-inch leg room.
Next month, Air Canada’s Q400s will also start flying between Calgary-Grande Prairie, Calgary-Edmonton and Edmonton-Fort McMurray. In April, they will be used on the Calgary-Yellowknife and Edmonton-Yellowknife routes. In May, they will be used on the Vancouver-Prince George, and Vancouver-Fort St. John routes, as well as Edmonton-Grande Prairie.
Air Canada is boosting capacity on 18 routes compared with the same time last year, the company said.
“Air Canada will strategically increase capacity by either scheduling larger aircraft or adding flights to meet strong demand in Western Canada and we will continue to roll out the Q400 aircraft on additional routes in B.C., Alberta, and the Northwest Territories in the coming months,” Marcel Forget, Air Canada’s vice-president of network planning, said in a statement.
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