Hot on the market are Air Canada seats on not one but two newly introduced, non-stop routes, from Toronto to Panama City, Panama and from Montreal to the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao.
Panama has long been on Air Canada’s radar and as public interest in both leisure and business travel to its capital city continues to grow, the airline put its stamp on the route as being Canada’s only carrier to offer year-round, scheduled non-stop service beginning December 17, this year. Over the past 20 years, Panama’s focus on developing a sustainable eco-tourism model has helped in branding the country as one that rivals Costa Rica and Belize as top-notch Central American, ecologically (and politically) sound destinations. The Airbus A319 flights will make the roundtrip run three times a week (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays), offering a business class cabin on all departures and all of the Air Canada extras, including Aeroplan points accumulation and use of the Maple Leaf Lounge, for those eligible.
While Curacao has been a successful seasonal destination from Toronto for Air Canada for years, their Montreal to Curacao route will be brand new and commence on January 1, 2015. On top of adding a new gateway in Montreal, Air Canada will also upgrade their winter-only Toronto service to also operate year-round, giving Canadians yet another sun destination to soak up 12 months a year. As part of the Dutch “ABC Islands”, Curacao is best known as one of the premier diving destinations in all of the Caribbean. The capital city of Willemstad, with its colourful harbor and European flare, plays second fiddle to its sea based activities and diving the “blue edge”, a steep ocean floor drop within 200 feet of shore, remains the main draw.
As hotel contract negotiations get ironed out, both destinations should also become available as vacation packages (including airport/hotel transfers and meal/drink packages) offered through Air Canada Vacations for the upcoming winter season.