Air Canada delays launch of Hamilton to Calgary service because of plane crash

MONTREAL – Air Canada says the Halifax plane crash in March has forced it to delay the launch of a flight service between Hamilton and Calgary by a year.

The airline (TSX:AC) announced in February it was planning daily service to start in June between the two cities on low-cost carrier Rouge.

But the company says the crash of an Airbus A320 at the Halifax airport has taken that plane out of its fleet, and as a result it can no longer launch the new service as scheduled.

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick says even the loss of one aircraft can have an impact on its schedule.

Hamilton airport president Frank Scremin says he is disappointed that the service has been deferred until May 2016.

Passengers who purchased tickets can obtain a full refund or book flights to Calgary departing from Toronto.

Analyst David Tyerman of Canaccord Genuity said it is conceivable the airline doesn’t have any spare capacity because it is so busy these days, flying near-full planes.

He added it makes sense for the airline to allocate seats to other routes instead of on new ones.

Air Canada Flight 624 was severely damaged after it hit the ground short of the Halifax airport runway on March 29.

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