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Friday,  July 19, 2024 5:52 PM 

Air Canada celebrates 5 new routes from Montreal… and much more!

Air Canada celebrates 5 new routes from Montreal… and much more!
Vincent Gauthier-Doré, managing director, Canada and U.S. sales, at Air Canada. (Air Canada)

Air Canada’s sales management team brought together 165 people on Wednesday (June 12) for a festive evening at the Humanity Hotel in Montreal.

During the event, PAX spoke with Vincent Gauthier-Doré, managing director, Canada and U.S. sales, at Air Canada.

Air Canada: “A celebratory event”

Gauthier-Doré explained that, above all, this great evening was intended to be “a celebratory event.” Indeed it was, because Air Canada had several things to celebrate that led to this evening taking place.

“Obviously, we first wanted to celebrate our new routes operated from Montreal – that is to say Madrid, Stockholm, Seoul, internationally, and St. Louis and Austin cross-border,” said Gauthier-Doré.

He added that Air Canada also wanted to celebrate, more generally, the advantageous stage it has reached now that it has experienced good growth for around 10 years.

What’s more, Air Canada wanted to celebrate its industry partners. “The support of travel agents has contributed a lot to getting us to where we are,” continued Gauthier-Doré.

Robert Trudeau (General Manager - Global Network Business Sales), Lisa Pierce (Vice-President - Global Sales and Air Canada Vacations), Francine Martin (Voyages Régence), David Rheault (Vice-President, Government and Community Relations) and Mark Galardo (Executive Vice-President – ​​Revenue and Network Planning). [Air Canada]

Air Canada and travel agents: “A shared success”

In this regard, Gauthier-Doré wanted to highlight the “common success” of the airline and travel agents, with a particular mention of the members of the “Air Circle of Excellence Canada.”

“Air Canada’s success is inseparable from that of travel agents,” he said. “And we are counting on the continuation of this partnership to continue our growth from Montreal, so that we can create even more opportunities – for agents and for us!”

Air Canada and Aéroports de Montréal: Another “joint success”

In addition to distribution network partners, the cocktail dinner also welcomed major corporate clients of Air Canada, members of the business community, some municipal officials, representatives of tourism offices (Visit Austin, the Spanish Office of Tourism) and other dignitaries.

Of note: a fine delegation from ADM – Aéroports de Montréal was also there, under the leadership of CEO Yves Beauchamp (who addressed the guests).

To describe Air Canada’s relationship with ADM, Gauthier-Doré again used the expression “shared success.” “You need a good airport to receive our aircraft and welcome our customers,” he summarized.

Air Canada: “For international flights, Montreal is in the major leagues!”

While addressing the guests at the Montreal event, Gauthier-Doré noted that his colleague Mark Galardo (executive vice-president, revenue and network planning at Air Canada) was keen to highlight the importance that Montreal has gained in recent years as a hub.

Mark Galardo (Executive Vice-President – ​​Revenue and Network Planning). (Air Canada)

“In this regard, Montreal is comparable to Chicago, Toronto, Washington and Atlanta,” said Gauthier-Doré. “For international flights, Montreal has reached the major leagues! The city is in the top 5 largest transatlantic hubs in North America. It’s really impressive!”

He mentioned that, while point-to-point traffic has, of course, contributed to the growth of Montreal as a hub, “6th freedom traffic” also plays a major role. (The 6th freedom of the air allows an airline to transport passengers or cargo between two foreign countries via a stopover in its own country.)

“St. Louis, for example, allows us to seek out 6th freedom traffic,” said Gauthier-Doré.

Air Canada: Connecting Montreal even more…

According to Gauthier-Doré, all of this greatly benefits Montreal.

“The fact that we can supplement local demand with demand from the American market and the European market allows us to connect Montreal even more to cities like New York, Chicago and Atlanta,” he said.

In short, long gone are the days when Air Canada only offered three international long-haul destinations (Paris, London and Frankfurt) from Montreal!

Gauthier-Doré explained that the change occurred when Air Canada strategically decided to develop itself as a major player in international air transport. Well connected internationally, Montreal then stood out for developing the international network (including Toronto and Vancouver, Air Canada’s two other strategic hubs).

Montreal also benefits from a “specialty” towards French-speaking markets, recalled Gauthier-Doré. “And what’s more, Montreal is our home; our head office is in Montreal!”

Air Canada: Great opportunities ahead…

Aside from the five new routes celebrated on June 12, can we expect other new Air Canada services from YUL? We can certainly assume so... But no announcement on this subject was made last Wednesday evening!

Gauthier-Doré also refrained from making any other announcements. “What I can say – and Mark Galardo mentioned this before me – is that 70 aircraft will be delivered to Air Canada over the next few years, including Boeing 787s and Airbus 321XLRs. This will create great opportunities...”

Mark Galardo (Executive Vice-President – ​​Revenue and Network Planning). (Air Canada)

And the winner of the business-class trip on the wings of Air Canada is… 

During the evening, Air Canada provided one lucky winner with a business-class trip on its network. Congratulations go to Francine Martin, from Voyages Régence.

Francine Martin, from Voyages Régence. (Air Canada)

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