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Friday,  July 19, 2024 4:34 PM 

On Location: Collaboration and collective partnerships: Air Canada celebrates community at the Calgary Stampede

  • Air
  •   07-10-2024  11:25 am
  •   Renée Tsang

On Location: Collaboration and collective partnerships: Air Canada celebrates community at the Calgary Stampede
Representatives of Air Canada, Tourism Calgary and YYC Calgary Airport Authority. (Renée Tsang)
Renée Tsang

Amid the exhilarating rodeo thrills and excitement of the chuckwagon races, the vibrant energy of the Calgary Stampede sets the stage for a celebration in the heart of cowboy country. 

Last night (July 9), Air Canada, along with Tourism Calgary and YYC Calgary Airport Authority, hosted valued travel partners at the Stargazer Patio, Delta Calgary Downtown Hotel for a Stampede-theme evening highlighting current achievements and a future full of exciting opportunities.

Distinguished guests included the Honourable Lois Mitchell, 18th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Honourable Joseph Schow, Minister of Tourism and Sports of Alberta, and Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek. Representatives from Travel Alberta, Calgary Airport Authority, Tourism Calgary and joint-venture partners United Airlines and Lufthansa Group were also present.

The Honourable Lois Mitchell, 18th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, and the Honourable Joseph Schow, Minister of Tourism and Sports. (Renée Tsang)

PAX spoke directly with Lisa Pierce, vice-president, global sales and Air Canada Vacations, who is excited about the strategic partnerships in Calgary and Alberta aimed at expanding and serving a broader market.

Acknowledging that Calgary is home to a competitor airline, Pierce is not fazed. “Although we are not the biggest airline in town, we are investing in this part of the world," she said. "We care about Western Canada and our partners are here and continue to work with us to find creative ways to support each other as it’s in all of our best interests for the economy."

Lisa Pierce, vice-president, global sales and Air Canada Vacations. (Renée Tsang)

Calgary and Vancouver serve as crucial hubs for Air Canada in Western Canada, with Vancouver playing an important role in providing direct access to Asia markets while Calgary remains an important business market poised to host 8.7 million visitors this year.

With the newly expanded BMO Centre now the largest convention centre in Western Canada, Air Canada is committed to serving Calgary, connecting travellers from all over the world through their network alliances with United Airlines and Lufthansa Group.

From Calgary, United Airlines is increasing capacity with six additional hub destinations, including daily flights to Chicago, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. 

Between 150 daily flights from Canada and the United States, as well as Air Canada’s multiple flight options, Steve Ross, managing director, central and Canada sales at United Airlines, highlights the noteworthy connectivity. “With this partnership between United and Air Canada’s global networks, guests can travel the world with literally just one stop and that’s pretty impressive.”

Tyler Lovenuk from Air Canada, Marayka Wilson from United Airlines and Steve Ross, managing director, central and Canada sales at United Airlines. (Renée Tsang)

Working closely with Lufthansa, Air Canada is bridging the gap between Calgary and Europe with increased frequency to Zurich and Frankfurt, as well linking travellers to Delhi through London, bringing the growing market of India to Calgary.

Recognizing that Air Canada is not immune to the challenges faced in the aviation industry with supply chain issues, Pierce affirms the critical role of leveraging partnerships and making strategic choices to overcome fleet limitations and resource constraints in a growing market. The collaborative spirit Air Canada brings to its travel trade partners and community is one of its greatest strengths.

“We are very committed to having a presence here and in Vancouver to support our trade partners," she said. "It’s one of our unique value propositions—our team and our people who stay in touch, connect with trade partners and listen to what’s important and on their mind.”

Representatives of YYC Calgary Airport Authority. (Renée Tsang)

Chris Dinsdale, chief executive officer of Calgary Airport, highlights the valuable role Air Canada plays in their ecosystem. “We absolutely look forward to having Air Canada grow from here," he said. "Everything Air Canada has given us has been absolutely amazing. We depend on you. You have another home here and you always will.”


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