Air Canada and Corsairfly are entering a commercial partnership that will strategically strengthen their respective positions in the travel market between France and Canada. The commercial partnership provides for reciprocal codesharing on each carrier’s France-to-Canada flights, streamlined access to Air Canada’s network for Corsairfly customers, and enhanced presence in the French market for Air Canada as a preferred carrier through the Nouvelles Frontieres Group that owns France’s largest travel agency network.
It is estimated that approximately one million passengers travel each year between the two countries.
“The France-Canada travel market is historically one of the most important between Europe and North America. Together with Air Canada, we are poised to see healthy growth well into the future,” said Herve Pierret, Corsairfly president and chief executive officer, at a joint press conference today in Paris with Air Canada. “We are particularly pleased to announce new non-stop service to Quebec City, as the Quebec capital prepares to celebrate its 400th anniversary. Our new direct service to Halifax, N.S., will provide our customers with convenient onward connections with Air Canada to discover Canada’s entire Atlantic region, just one of the benefits provided by this partnership.”
Corsairfly will introduce twice-weekly Paris-Orly-to-Quebec seasonal service beginning June 7, 2008. In addition, the carrier will introduce Paris-Orly-to-Halifax weekly service effective June 25, 2008, during the busy summer holiday season for travel to and from Canada’s Atlantic region. The new services to Quebec and Halifax, operated using Corsairfly Airbus A330-200 aircraft, will complement its Paris-to-Montreal non-stop flights, also operated during the summer travel season.
Air Canada will sell seats on the new Quebec-to-Paris and Halifax-to-Paris routes on a code-share basis. Similarly, Corsairfly will sell seats on a code-share basis on Air Canada-operated year-round non-stop flights from Paris Charles-de-Gaulle, up to twice daily to Montreal, and daily to the Canadian carrier’s main hub in Toronto. Implementation of the new routes and code-sharing is subject to receipt of government approvals.
In addition, Corsairfly customers will be able to book connecting flights to all points throughout Air Canada’s extensive domestic Canada and global network consisting of 67 Canadian cities, 53 destinations across the United States and 56 overseas destinations including the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Corsairfly customers will benefit from seamless ticketing, check-in and baggage check-through on all Corsairfly connections to Air Canada-operated flights.
“This partnership with Corsairfly and Nouvelles Frontieres will strategically strengthen each of our companies’ positions in the important France-Canada travel market that Air Canada has been dedicated to serving for over half a century of our 70-year history,” said Yves Dufresne, Air Canada’s vice-president, international and regulatory affairs, in Paris today for the announcement. “Today’s announcement follows Air Canada’s recent launch of Boeing 777 service on our year-round daily Montreal service as well as the introduction of industry-leading amenities such as lie-flat beds in business class suites on all our international flights. In partnership with Corsairfly and Nouvelles Frontieres, we are able to offer our customers an even broader range of choice, while at the same time significantly enhancing distribution in France of our products as we continue to innovate.”
The agreement provides Air Canada with a stronger presence in the French market as a designated preferred carrier through France’s largest travel-agency network and travel-distribution leader, the Nouvelles Frontieres Group. This comes as the carrier implements its new business plan that focuses on new aircraft, new in-flight product, convenient airport facilities and a host of Web-based technology innovations such as on-line and mobile check-in, self-service kiosks and simplified fares.
Air Canada is currently renewing its international fleet with brand new Boeing 777 aircraft, operated daily on Montreal to Paris Charles-de-Gaulle since September, 2007, and it is renewing its North American fleet with spacious new Embraer aircraft. In addition, the carrier is refurbishing its existing narrow and wide-body fleets with industry-leading cabin amenities such as all-new seats, personal seat-back entertainment for all customers, and is the first North American carrier to offer true lie-flat beds in international business class, with executive first suites that offer first class space and comfort at business class prices.
With the opening in 2007 of new connection facilities for international passengers at its main hub in Toronto, Air Canada has consolidated all flights under one roof, to offer customers unparalleled convenience to connect to points throughout Canada, the United States, and its entire international network including the Caribbean, Mexico, South America, Europe and Asia, without changing terminals. Similar airport improvements have opened recently in Montreal and Vancouver, all designed to simplify the travel experience.
All travellers bound for the United States also benefit from the convenience of going through U.S. Customs prior to boarding their U.S. transborder flight in Canada, and arriving in the U.S. precleared without further formalities.