Airlines Air China and Air Canada sign Joint Venture

  • Air Canada

Air Canada and Air China have announced the first China-North American Airline Joint Venture. The expanded partnership supports the Canada-China Year of Tourism 2018 and new codeshare agreements.

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During a ceremony held in Beijing, Chairman of Air China Limited Jianjiang Cai and Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu signed the first joint venture agreement between a North American and Chinese airline. Furthermore, a longstanding partnership between the carriers will be strengthened.

With the joint venture, both airlines will expand their already existing codeshare relationship. Moreover, additional commercial cooperations between China and Canada will be implemented. Passengers will experience the strengthened cooperation on key connecting domestic flights in both countries with greater benefits in regard to flights, products and services.

Jianjiang Cai, Chairman of Air China Limited, said: "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. Air China and Air Canada as Star Alliance members have the foundation of a profound cooperation and under a Joint Venture framework will offer a wider range of products and quality services, and provide more flexible flight choices, favourable fare products and seamless travel experiences for customers. Moreover, both parties will take the China-Canada Year of Tourism as an opportunity to support the tourism, trade and cultural exchanges for both countries."

Air Canada Airbus A321
© Air Canada

The joint venture will be phased in over the next six months. As the airlines stated, customers will be able to enjoy flexible flight choices, seamless travel experiences, optimized flight schedules, joint sales, harmonized fare products and favourable fare products, as well as aligned frequent flyer privileges and increased lounge access.

Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada's President & Chief Executive Officer, commented: "Our joint venture agreement with Air China, the highly respected flag carrier of the People's Republic of China, is an important strategy in our global expansion as it significantly increases Air Canada's presence in an aviation market set to become the world's largest by 2022.  Air Canada is honoured to formalize this strategic partnership with Air China during the Canada-China Year of Tourism to offer customers travelling between our two countries an unparalleled network and expansive options for travel ease."

In the past two years, Air Canada has launched flights between Montreal and Shanghai, while Air China launched flights between Montreal and Beijing. Together, both airlines operate 52 trans-Pacific flights per week between the two countries.

Air Canada and Air China have recently announced to expand their codeshare-agreement, effective May 5, 2018. Each day, 564 connecting flight opportunities are being offered. In December, both parties agreed on an expanded lounge agreement and on a first joint frequent flyer promotion.

Air China is the national flag carrier of China and is headquartered in Beijing, China. Its fleet consist of over 400 aircraft, including, A319s, A320neos, A320ceos, A321s, A330s, Boeing B737s, B747s, B777s and B787s. Air China serves 197 destinations in 42 countries.

Air Canada is the flag carrier of Canada and is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. The airline operates with a fleet of 185 aircraft, including Airbus A319s, A320s, A321s, A330s, Boeing B737 MAX 8s, B767s, B777s, B787s and Embraer E190s. Air Canada flies to 220 destinations on 440 routes to 61 countries.

Both Air Canada and Air China are members in the Star Alliance group.

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