Air Canada will add two Boeing 777-300ERs to its international fleet and will seek to transfer its entire fleet of 15 Embraer 175s to Montreal-based Sky Regional Airlines, under an updated fleet plan.
As the Canadian flagship carrier reshapes the top and bottom of its fleet by seat size, the carrier also says that it will hire 1,100 new employees, including 200 pilots and flight attendants to staff a wholly-owned, start-up "leisure carrier".
Details for the new low-cost leisure carrier, including branding and network strategy, have not yet been announced. Air Canada says that its widebody fleet moves over the next two years are partly intended to free aircraft for the new leisure carrier.
The addition of the 777-300ERs in June and September next year will allow the company to expand its international network, although specific new routes have not yet been announced. Air Canada also receives its first Boeing 787s in 2014.
The aircraft are part of an order for five of the type that was included in its second quarter financial results, says Air Canada.
Air Canada also has two options for 777-300ERs, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database.
Meanwhile, Sky Regional has agreed to operate the 76-seat E-175s under a capacity purchase agreement with Air Canada. The transfer of the aircraft is scheduled between February and June next year. Air Canada also notes the deal remains "subject to a number of conditions", but did not elaborate.