Air Canada announced Wednesday it'll launch new flights direct between Hamilton and Montreal beginning in May. 

The flights are scheduled to leave each airport twice daily except Saturday, which will have one flight each way. 

The airline says it timed the flights so passengers could connect with flights to Atlantic Canada and Europe.

Air Canada's passenger airlines president, Benjamin Smith, cited the population of Ontario's Golden Horseshoe as a factor in deciding to launch the service in Hamilton. 

"Hamilton is a convenient departure and arrival point for the business community as well as tourists, visiting friends and relatives," Smith said in a press release.

Montreal is a destination that Hamilton airport passengers have requested often, said Frank Scremin, president and CEO of the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport — both for business and for getaways. 

The service is scheduled to begin on May 24. The airline says the flights will be on Jazz Aviation LP 50-seat Bombardier CRJ jets.

The starting price for the flights appears to be $147 or $148 each way:

Screen capture of flight ticket price

A screenshot from Air Canada's website of the Hamilton-Montreal flights available on the first day the service is scheduled to operate, May 24. (Air Canada)

Schedule:

Sunday to Friday flights: 

  • Montreal to Hamilton: Depart YUL at 6:30 a.m., arrive YHM at 7:40 a.m.
  • Hamilton to Montreal: Depart YHM at 8:10 a.m., arrive YUL at 9:21 a.m.

Daily flights:

  • Montreal to Hamilton: Depart YUL at 4:55 p.m., arrive YHM at 6:07 p.m.
  • Hamilton to Montreal: Depart YHM at 6:40 p.m., arrive YUL at 7:50 p.m.

Latest in a series of promises

The announcement is the latest in a series of ideas pitched by Air Canada and upstart airlines for flights to and from the Hamilton airport.

Air Canada said it would launch its low-cost Rouge service from Hamilton to Calgary last year, but it delayed that route after a plane crashed in Halifax.

On Wednesday, Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick told CBC News that route is off the table. 

"At this point there is no plan for a Calgary route from Hamilton," Fitzpatrick said. "We have determined that customers in Hamilton and the surrounding region want non-stop service to Montreal, and there is also significant demand  in Montreal for a non-stop flight to Hamilton."

Meanwhile, companies including Canada Jetlines and NewLeaf have circled the Hamilton airport, hoping to land their own "ultra-low-cost" service in Hamilton. Jetlines hasn't announced any firm dates.

And while NewLeaf launched with much fanfare last month, getting Hamilton's hopes up, the airline abruptly postponed its service two weeks later, saying it would refund tickets for anyone who'd already bought.