Star Alliance carriers to expand network between China and Canada
BEIJING and MONTREAL, May 28, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Air China and Air Canada said today they are preparing for the launch of non-stop flights between Beijing and Montreal that will create the first transpacific direct link between Asia and Montreal. The flights will be operated by Air China starting on September 29, 2015, initially three times a week, with Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and Air Canada will place its code on the flights for sale on a codeshare basis in a first phase. In the second phase, subject to requisite approvals by the relevant competition authorities, Air Canada and Air China intend to form a comprehensive revenue sharing joint venture in respect of all flights between China and Canada, which would ensure the long-term sustainability of the new Beijing-Montreal service. Seats are now available for purchase.
With the launch of non-stop Beijing-Montreal service, the Star Alliance carriers will offer convenient connections and seamless transfers for customers to other cities in China, Canada and the United States via their hubs in Beijing and Montreal.
As previously announced, Air China and Air Canada signed a memorandum of understanding in November 2014 in Beijing setting out the principles for an integrated revenue sharing joint venture. The MOU provides for an enhanced partnership on routes between China and Canada which is expected to stimulate traffic growth between the two countries and is subject to Air Canada and Air China making the necessary filings, obtaining competition and other regulatory approvals and finalizing documentation. The joint venture is expected to come into effect in the second half of 2015.
"We are delighted to announce the planned introduction of the first non-stop service between Beijing and Montreal in September," said Song Zhiyong, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air China Limited. "This new route to Canada's second largest city will strengthen the links between China and Canada; it will provide travellers with convenient travel options in cooperation with our partner Air Canada whose extensive North American network includes many cities easily served from Montreal throughout Quebec, Atlantic Canada and the United States. We look forward to continuing to develop our enhanced partnership with Air Canada and to implementing our comprehensive joint venture upon receiving all necessary approvals."
"We look forward to offering customers the first transpacific direct link from Montreal to Asia and developing our partnership with Air China through a joint venture that will provide customers of both carriers additional travel options," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada. "As Star Alliance member airlines, we offer customers a simplified travel experience along with the benefits of loyalty rewards. Non-stop flights between Montreal and Beijing will provide connections to cities throughout China via Air China's main hub in Beijing and complement Air Canada-operated flights from Toronto and Vancouver."
"This is great news for the metropolitan region and Montréal's business community in particular," said Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre. "Our ability to draw foreign businesses greatly depends on the availability of direct links from our airport. Furthermore, we hope this flight will further strengthen our relations with China."
"Aéroports de Montréal is delighted to welcome Air China to Montréal–Trudeau beginning September 29," said James Cherry, President and CEO of Aéroports de Montréal. "The introduction of direct service between Montréal and Beijing has been a priority for ADM. We are convinced that this first-ever non-stop transpacific route linking Montréal to Asia will be a huge success, with great benefits to the Montréal community in terms of tourism as well as trade and business."
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With the new Beijing-Montreal route, Air China will place its CA code on Air Canada flights between Montreal and select cities in Canada, subject to the government approval. Air China operates up to 11 flights per week between Beijing and Vancouver. Air Canada operates up to a total of 28 flights per week between Canada and China, from Toronto and Vancouver to and from Beijing and Shanghai. Currently, Air China offers its customers codeshare flights operated by Air Canada between Vancouver and six Canadian cities (Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal). Air Canada currently offers customers AC codeshare flights operated by Air China between Beijing and six cities in China (Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Shenyang, Wuhan and Xi'an).
About Air China
Air China is China's only national flag carrier and a member carrier of the world's largest airline network - Star Alliance. By April 2015, Air China had a fleet of 523 passenger aircraft and freighters of mainly Boeing and Airbus families (including those of the carriers which Air China has a majority stake in). It operates 332 routes, including 83 international routes, 15 regional routes and 234 domestic routes. It serves 161 cities in 33 countries and regions, including 55 international cities, 3 regional cities and 103 domestic cities. Every week, Air China offers over 1.47 million seats on over 7,700 flights per week. Utilizing its extensive route network and its hub in Beijing, especially after its admission to the Star Alliance, Air China can fly passengers to 1,321 airports in 193 countries. PhoenixMiles, Air China's customer loyalty program created in 1994, is Asia's only frequent flyer program shared by a number of carriers. Air China's customer service philosophy revolves around four elements: credibility, convenience, comfort, and choice. Hard work over the years has resulted in a tremendous increase in Air China's brand value. In 2013, Air China ranked again as one of the world's top 500 brands with a brand value of RMB 91.899 billion, and was the only Chinese carrier on the World Brands 500 list. For more information, visit Air China's official website www.airchina.com or call Air China's hotline 95583.
About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 190 destinations on five continents. Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2014 served more than 38 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 64 Canadian cities, 52 destinations in the United States and 78 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,321 airports in 193 countries. Air Canada rewards its most loyal customers through its top tier recognition program, Altitude, that offers frequent flyers a range of priority travel services, lounge access and upgrades to Executive Class, complementing their membership in Aeroplan, Canada's premier loyalty program, which provides numerous ways to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles with over 150 travel and retail partners. For more information, please visit: www.aircanada.com.
SOURCE Air Canada