Air Canada and Air China have signed the first joint venture agreement between a Chinese and North American airline, deepening the two carriers' longstanding partnership.
The joint venture enables the two countries' flag carriers and Star Alliance members to expand their existing codeshare relationship and deepen it by increasing commercial cooperation on flights between Canada and China and on key connecting domestic flights in both countries to provide customers travelling between the two countries with greater and sustainable benefits including a wide range of flights, products and services.
According to Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada's president & CEO, the signing of the joint venture “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.
“Having served China for more than 30 years, and as demonstrated by Air Canada's average annual capacity growth of 12.5 per cent 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," Rovinescu said.
The carriers' recently expanded code-share, effective May 5, 2018, increases the number of Canada-China connecting flight opportunities for customers by 564 each day. In December 2017, Air China and Air Canada implemented an expanded reciprocal lounge agreement for customers and introduced the airlines' first joint frequent flyer promotion for their respective PhoenixMiles and Aeroplan members.
In the last two years, Air China has launched flights directly linking Beijing with Montreal, and Air Canada has launched new non-stop flights between Montreal and Shanghai to meet growth in demand. The two carriers now operate up to a total of 52 trans-Pacific flights per week between Canada and China from Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal to and from Beijing and Shanghai.