Air Canada (AC, Montréal Trudeau) has floated the idea of converting Air Canada rouge's narrowbody fleet into a high-density single-class layout, and may decide to move B737 MAX 8 aircraft to the low-cost unit.

"rouge is very competitive but now we have the dual class cabin. That's working for us from a larger perspective. It's very easy for us to convert them to a single class as we mentioned in the past which makes us even more competitive," President (Passenger Airlines), Benjamin Smith, said during a recent earnings call.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, Air Canada rouge currently operates twenty A319-100s and six A321s, as well as twenty-four widebody B767-300(ER)s. A further two A319s and one B767-300(ER) are expected to be transferred from the mainline unit by Summer 2018.

Under the terms of its current agreement with pilots, Air Canada is free to grow rouge's narrowbody fleet without limits once all B787-9 are delivered to the group in 2019. The previous agreement capped rouge's fleet at 50 aircraft. This allows for further growth, which eventually may also include Boeing MAX aircraft, although CEO Calin Rovinescu clarified that so far the carrier has no such plans.

"We have a lot of flexibility on what type of aircraft we use in that marketplace. We could even put some MAX airplanes. We have no plan to do that [as of now]," Smith said.

The carrier believes that its low-cost unit will be well-positioned to compete with WestJet's counterpart, Swoop, as well as other players such as Flair Airlines. Air Canada rouge could also take over some regional routes from Air Canada Jazz, Rovinescu added.

Air Canada has a total of sixty-one B737 MAX aircraft due from Boeing, including forty-nine B737 MAX 8s and twelve B737 MAX 9s. Four of the 8s have already been delivered.

Air Canada is also slowly preparing for the upcoming replacement of its B767-300(ER)s. In addition to those deployed by Air Canada rouge, a further thirty-three aircraft of the type operate for the mainline unit. The airline is currently exploring "tactical" options of replacing some of the oldest aircraft with younger units and will not decide on a complete replacement before 2020.