An Air Canada Rouge Airbus A319. Boarding1now/Dreamstime
Air Canada’s direct flights between Yellowknife and Toronto, due to begin in December, have begun appearing for sale on the airline’s website and other travel portals.
With the flights’ appearance online come more details about how those journeys will look – including some changes to the airline’s initial announcement of the route earlier this year.
For example, when the service begins at the start of December, it’ll be operated by low-cost subsidiary Air Canada Rouge.
The opening Yellowknife-Toronto flight is on Saturday, December 2. From December until the end of April, Yellowknife-Toronto flights on Rouge aircraft will depart the NWT at 12:55pm MT on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, arriving at Toronto Pearson at 7:25pm ET.
Those flights will be on Airbus A319 aircraft, with each assigned the flight number AC 1944.
The return flights, also on Rouge A319s, will bear flight number AC 1945 and will leave Toronto at 9am ET on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, arriving in Yellowknife at 11:54am MT. The first Toronto-Yellowknife flight also operates on December 2.
Rouge dropped from May?
In May 2024, things are expected to change – though the changes are described internally as tentative, so don’t hold your breath.
According to the latest available schedules, from May, the non-stop service will be operated by Air Canada instead of Air Canada Rouge. (Air Canada did not respond to a request for comment for this article.)
At that point, the flights from Yellowknife to Toronto turn into overnight flights aboard newer Airbus A220 aircraft.
From Wednesday, May 1 next year, flights from Yellowknife to Toronto are scheduled to run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays as flight number AC 1168, departing the NWT at 12:30am MT and arriving in Toronto at 7am ET.
From May 3, flights from Toronto to Yellowknife will run on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays as flight number AC 1169, also using Air Canada A220s. They will depart Toronto at 8:50pm ET and arrive in Yellowknife at 11:44pm MT.
So far, prices available online suggest a non-stop return trip in early 2024 can be bought for a little less than $500. In the summer months, the price of a return trip – if bought today – increases to $800 or more.
Prices in the aviation industry fluctuate significantly over time, for a variety of reasons, so those prices can’t be relied upon in the long term.
Flight times and whether the operator is Rouge or Air Canada should also be treated as preliminary information, with schedules subject to change – as Yellowknife has seen in the past, when airlines have scrapped entire routes after just a few months in operation.