Air Canada (AC, Montréal Trudeau) is set to expand its low-cost unit Air Canada rouge's fleet after successfully negotiating amendments to an existing 2014 ten-year labour agreement with its 3,500 pilots represented by the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA).

Established in 2012, Air Canada rouge (RV, Toronto Pearson) was originally limited to a fleet of fifty aircraft split evenly between the B767 and A320 Family of jets. At present, it operates twenty-four B767-300(ER)s, twenty A319-100s and five A321-200s.

Air Canada said in a statement issued last week that the new amendments will allow it to expand Rouge's North American narrowbody fleet, and therefore its regional network, in the face of intensified competition from emerging Ultra Low Cost Carriers (ULCC). It is recalled that two Canadian ULCCs are scheduled to launch in Summer 2018 - Jetlines (CJL, Vancouver Int'l) and WestJet's own untitled ULCC project.

"These amendments, voted on and ratified by our pilots, further emphasize our pilots' alignment with Air Canada's successful business strategy to compete effectively in the highly competitive airline industry, and make adjustments of mutual benefit as the competitive environment evolves," Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada, said.

The extent to which the cap on narrowbody services has been lifted, was not disclosed.