Let The Sun Shine


Air Canada Vacations (ACV) sure knows how to throw a party.

Music, prizes, Cirque-like entertainment, dinner and more prizes, not to mention the introduction of its biggest Sun Collection to date, were all part of last night’s (Sept. 10) festivities at Pearson’s Hangar 8 in Toronto.

ACV’s launch of its 2015/2016 Sun Collection included a large trade show featuring more than 20 trade partners, as well as an opportunity for agents to view and walk through an Air Canada rouge A319.

Michael Friisdahl, president and CEO, Air Canada Leisure Group, and Eamonn Ferrin, president and COO, Air Canada Vacations, were both on hand to welcome those in attendance and if there was one clear message it was that the year ahead is going to bigger and better than ever. Both touted the success of Air Canada rouge which now has 34 aircraft in its fleet – a number that will grow to 44 by this time next year.

“We have a number of new routes, including Africa which will start next year. We’re also increasing frequencies on many routes,” said Friisdahl. “With the addition of new planes, there’s a lot more to come. We’re looking forward to a great year.”

As for the new Sun Collection, it features 525 three- to five-star resorts – 73 of which are new to the tour operator – in 40 destinations.

Newly announced routes include Ottawa to Cayo Coco, Holguin and Samana; Montreal to La Romana; and Vancouver to Cancun.

“As our overall Air Canada fleet has grown over the last few years and with the launch of our new leisure focused airline – Air Canada rouge – having grown to some 34 wide body and narrow body aircraft we are confidently adding more capacity across the country to meet the growing demand of our vacation customers,” said Ferrin.

He added, “In response to this demand, I am delighted that we are launching our biggest and best ever winter 2015/2016 sun program to Mexico and the Caribbean. The demand for these destinations has never been stronger globally. During winter 15/16 we will be offering more flight frequencies, with more seats, from more gateways, to more destinations, than ever before. We have also added considerably to our extensive hotel and resort program as outlined in our new Sun brochure.”

Highlights of the program include Early Booking Savings, a Price Drop Guarantee, StormGuard and ACV’s Play Collection and Privileges added-value program.

Pictured at the event (below) are (l-r) Friisdahl, Virgilio Russi, Ferrin and Duncan Bureau.

The invitation-only events continue in Vancouver Sept. 15, Calgary on Sept. 16, Winnipeg Sept. 17, Ottawa Sept. 22 and Halifax on Sept. 23.