"The decision had nothing to do with the others not flying. We have been planning to have JUN departures for a few weeks," Montagnese said in an interview with Open Jaw.
"We've been working behind the scenes to ensure our hotel partners and ground operators were ready to accept our customers."
Montagnese says the destinations featured are strategic, and are currently or will be open by the end of MAY.
"While the schedule is still a reduction to what we are used to during this time of year, Air Canada will be offering service to certain key destinations including, Cancún, Barbados, Varadero, Cayo Coco, Montego Bay, Paris, Athens and Barcelona, among many others," Montagnese said.
ACV says it will also be enacting the sameCleanCare+program that parent company Air Canada announced on Monday. The program includes performing mandatory pre-flight customer temperature checks.
"This is an industry-leading program committed to end-to-end health and safety protocols aimed at ensuring travellers can fly with confidence," Montagnese wrote in the letter.
"In line with this program, Air Canada Vacations continues to work resolutely to ensure all our partners, from hoteliers to ground handlers, are putting in place appropriate safety practices that meet our highest standards of quality and cleanliness. While we will only have more information to share about this program in the coming weeks, we remain committed to providing our customers with greater peace of mind and security as they begin to dream about travel once again."
Montagnese also reaffirmed ACV's commitment to travel advisors.
"As we have reiterated many times before, it is partnerships like ours that remain one of the biggest strengths in navigating through this crisis. While our industry must continue to adapt to our ever-changing realities, we are pleased to share the news of the gradual return of operations in JUN and look forward to sharing more news on our commitment to the safety of our customers and partners alike."
ACV Launches CareFlexPLUS Program
Aiming to encourage travellers to make their JUN bookings with peace of mind, ACV today introduced CareFlexPLUS, an enhancement of its earlier CareFlex program.
The new program allows travellers to cancel with a full refund up to 25 days prior to departure, change their booking or transfer their package. The program also allows customers to change their departure date, destination or hotel up to 25 days prior to departure. Name changes can be completed up to 7 days prior to departure.
“The safety and peace of mind of our shared customers remains our top priority. That’s why we’ve created the CareFlexPLUS program with more flexibility than ever before. In addition to offering reduced refundable deposits, with this program, customers who are eager to turn their travel dreams into reality have more freedom to do so,” said Montagnese in a press statement.
Travel advisors receive 30% commission with the new CareFlexPLUS program.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.
Richard- May 8, 2020 @ 16:22
An official global travel advisory is in effect: Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.