Air Canada to launch LCC in 2013

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Air Canada will launch a new low-cost carrier in 2013, say executives during an earnings call today.

The Montreal-based airline would operate up to 50 Airbus A319 and Boeing 767-300ER aircraft transitioned from Air Canada's existing fleet to leisure destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe, say executives.

"The launch of a LCC represents growth of Air Canada flying," says Michael Rousseau, chief financial officer of the airline, during the call.

The aircraft will transition to the LCC's fleet from Air Canada instead of being returned to lessors as their leases expire during the next 24- to 36-months, say executives.

Air Canada has 38 A319s and 30 767-300ERs in its fleet, according to Flightglobal's Ascend database.

The launch LCC is possible with the selection of the carrier's final contract offer to its pilots by a Canadian government appointed arbitrator on 31 July.

Air Canada operated LCC subsidiaries Tango and Zip from 2001 until 2003 and 2004, respectively, to compete with low-cost competition.