Air Canada, Air China To Expand Codeshare Partnership
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
As the two airlines work toward finalizing a planned joint venture, Air Canada and Air China announced expanded mutual codeshare services and lounge agreements, and the launch of their first joint frequent flyer promotion.
As a result of the codeshare expansion, CA will place its code on AC's new daily Montreal-Shanghai flight, as well as AC flights from Vancouver to Victoria, Kelowna, Saskatoon, and Regina.
In addition, AC will place its code on CA flights between Beijing and Zhengzhou, Xiamen, Shenzhen and Nanjing as well as CA's Montreal-Havana flight. The expanded codeshare cooperation is planned to come into effect in APR 2018, subject to regulatory and government approvals.
The two Star Alliance carriers also announced their first joint frequent flyer promotion to offer the carriers' respective Aeroplan and PhoenixMiles members up to 30% bonus miles effective 15DEC, 2017 for eligible travel between 1APR, 2018 and 15JUN, 2018 on all flights between Canada and China operated by the airlines.
Both carriers have also implemented an expanded lounge agreement. In addition to Star Gold customers, all CA First and Business class customers will now have access to AC's recently upgraded International Maple Leaf Lounges featuring enhanced food and beverage offerings at YUL and YVR airports. Eligible AC customers will continue to enjoy access to CA’s lounges in Beijing, Shanghai and other airports throughout China.
"Air China and Air Canada have built the foundation of a profound cooperation. Both parties will deepen cooperation on code-sharing, lounge services and frequent flyer programs and will put more efforts into the planned joint venture project," said Zhiyong Song, President of Air China Limited.
"Air Canada and Air China have worked hard over the past several years implementing new routes between Canada and China, said AC CEO Calin Rovinescu, in Beijing.
“Now, we are focused on finalizing a definitive joint venture agreement that will deepen our cooperation in scheduling and sales to offer customers of both airlines additional travel options throughout our respective networks."
The announcement comes on the eve of the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism, recognizing the importance of tourism and trade between the two countries. And the importance is growing – Rovinescu pointed out that the Canada-China air travel market has grown on average by almost 14% annually over the past six years.
AC operates up to a total of 35 flights per week between Canada and China, from Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal serving Beijing and Shanghai. CA operates up to 11 flights per week between China and Canada, serving Vancouver and Montreal from Beijing.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.