Air Canada will begin nonstop flights connecting Montreal to St. Louis, Missouri, next year. The news comes as the airline announced an expansion of routes planned for Summer 2024.
The flight to Montreal will be St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)’s seventh international destination. The airport has already experienced record passenger numbers this year, as the industry has recovered from the pandemic and airlines have introduced new routes.
One daily flight
According to St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK, Air Canada will inaugurate service from its hub at Montreal–Trudeau International Airport (YUL) to STL on May 2, 2024. Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, the airport’s director, said the service would be “one flight a day for now” and that “it may be seasonal service depending on the success of it.” Air Canada’s regional brand, Air Canada Express, will carry out the flight using a Bombardier CRJ 900 regional jet. Jazz Aviation, the sole operator of Air Canada Express-branded flights, will operate the aircraft.
UPDATE: 2023/09/23 00:42 PST BY CHANNING REID
STL Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge commented on the new service in a statement to Simple Flying.
“We are thrilled that Montreal is our newest destination and we know that Canada is a key market for St Louis. Montreal has been a quest for some time and adds to our growing international destinations out of St. Louis.”
The Montreal-bound flight, JZA8688, will depart STL at 12:00 and will arrive at YUL at 15:23. JZA8687, the STL-bound flight, will depart YUL at 18:30 and arrive at STL at 20:05. According to Air Canada, the STL-YUL route is scheduled to be two hours and 23 minutes while the YUL-STL flight is expected to be slightly longer, at two hours and 35 minutes.
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A regional jet with entertainment
Jazz’s CRJ-900s accommodate 76 passengers. Business class consists of 12 seats in a 1-2 format. The remaining 64 seats are in economy class, configured in a 2-2 arrangement. The aircraft boasts luxury, considering each seat is equipped with personal touch screens, an amenity that US airlines do not feature onboard their regional jets.
Photo: Andrei Filippov | Shutterstock
The screens give passengers access to hundreds of hours of on-demand audio and video entertainment and have a moving map with flight path information. Every seat also reclines and has USB ports.
International destinations increase
When the service begins, STL will offer flights to more than five international destinations throughout the year, representing significant growth at the airport since the pandemic. Air Canada Express already operates regularly scheduled flights to Toronto on the Embrarer E175 or CRJ-900.
Lufthansa celebrated its first anniversary of nonstop flights to Germany earlier this year. When the airline inaugurated the flight in 2022, it was the first regularly scheduled transatlantic flight in nearly two decades.
Last month, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines announced that it would return to offering flights to the Bay Area and will introduce new international flights next year. On March 9, 2024, the low-cost carrier will add seasonal nonstop service between STL and Los Cabos, Mexico. According to STL, the route complements Southwest’s seasonal service to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, which will resume on the same day. The airline also offers international flights to Cancun and Montego Bay, Jamaica, competing with Frontier Airlines.
Southwest is STL’s largest airline, with just about 58% of the airport’s market share. In March this year, the carrier scheduled more than 700 weekly flights and expects to grow even further in 2024. Next spring, the airline expects to increase weekly scheduled flights to more than 830, according to STL.
Source : Simple Flying