Air China and Air Canada joint venture provides “an unparalleled range of flights, products and services”.
At a ceremony in Beijing, Air China and Air Canada have signed the first joint venture agreement between a Chinese and a North American airline.
The venture enables the two countries’ flag carriers and Star Alliance members to expand their existing codeshare relationship by increasing cooperation on flights between Canada and China and on connecting domestic flights in both countries.
It gives passengers travelling between the two countries “greater and sustainable benefits including an unparalleled range of flights, products and services”, Air Canada said.
The ceremony was attended by Jianjiang Cai, chairman of Air China, Zhiyong Song, president of Air China, and Calin Rovinescu, president and chief executive of Air Canada.
“The Sino-Canada market is one of the important long-haul markets to Air China, which has been developed rapidly in recent years with an increase of 17.8% in 2017,” said Jianjiang Cai.
He also stressed that “both parties will take the China-Canada Year of Tourism as an opportunity to support the tourism, trade and culture exchanges for both countries”.
The joint venture “significantly increases Air Canada’s presence in an aviation market set to become the world’s largest by 2022,” Rovinescu pointed out.
“Having served China for more than 30 years, and as demonstrated by Air Canada’s average annual capacity growth of 12.5% over five years and the $2 billion of aircraft assets currently committed on routes between Canada and China, China is an integral part of our global network.”
As the venture is phased in over the next six months, customers “will be able to enjoy exceptional travel options” such as harmonised fare products, optimised flight schedules, joint sales including corporate and marketing programs, aligned frequent flyer privileges and reciprocal lounge access.
In the last two years, Air China has launched flights linking Beijing with Montreal, and Air Canada has launched a new route between Montreal and Shanghai “to meet growth in demand”. The two carriers now operate up to 52 trans-Pacific flights per week between Canada and China from Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal to and from Beijing and Shanghai.