Air Canada today unveiled initial plans for major enhancements in air service for Canadians. After reviewing the combined networks and fleets of Air Canada and Canadian Airlines, Air Canada has produced a plan that streamlines schedules and reallocates excess capacity, resulting in significant air service improvements for Canadians in domestic, transborder and international markets.
In particular, Air Canada and Canadian Airlines` revamped network calls for the introduction of new non-stop service between a number of cities across Canada, currently requiring consumers to transfer at hub airports such as Toronto or Montreal before arriving at their final destination. The planned new schedule will create new non-stop links and substantially reduce travel time for consumers and freight forwarders
“Streamlining a combined Air Canada-Canadian network will result in operational efficiencies that will be passed on to consumers through more non-stop service to more communities at competitive prices,” said Robert A. Milton, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Air Canada and Canadian Airlines will implement new optimal schedules for daily flights on main domestic routes. Changes will target routes where there is substantial surplus capacity, while continuing to provide conveniently timed flights with the right aircraft size.
By streamlining schedules and reallocating excess capacity, Air Canada will introduce non-stop service between: Montreal-Edmonton, Vancouver-Halifax and Toronto-Victoria year-round, thereby bypassing hub airports and dramatically reducing flying time for consumers. In addition, schedules will be adjusted to offer hourly flights on Toronto-Calgary and Toronto-Vancouver routes. Consumers will also benefit from increased flights on Montreal-Winnipeg, Montreal-Calgary and Ottawa-Winnipeg routes, as well as year-round widebody service on Montreal-Vancouver.
AirBC, Air Ontario, Air Nova and Canadian Regional Airlines will similarly optimize their schedules to and from regional points. Communities served by Air Canada, Canadian or their respective wholly-owned subsidiaries will continue to be served.
A number of underutilized jet aircraft will be reallocated to address the growth on transborder routes.
Air Canada will continue to expand its transborder services, consolidating its position as the airline of choice linking Canada and the United States. Air Canada plans to launch new transborder routes including Montreal-Denver CO, Toronto-Greensboro NC, Toronto-Ontario CA and Toronto-Orange County CA (the latter two serving the Los Angeles area). In addition, Air Canada will increase flights on a number of transborder routes including Calgary-Chicago IL, Ottawa-Washington D.C. National and Toronto-Las Vegas NV.
Canadian consumers will benefit from increased direct access to major cities worldwide. Air Canada will launch daily Toronto-Tokyo, Toronto-Hong Kong and Toronto-Mexico flights, subject to obtaining required designation, traffic rights and slots from appropriate authorities. In addition, Air Canada will seek to use dormant authorities for routes including Vancouver-Shanghai, Vancouver-Mexico City and Montreal-Milan as well as expand service on routes such as Montreal-Rome.
Further details on new routes to be launched will be announced in the coming weeks. Air Canada and Canadian will not initially be merged. Both carriers will be operated separately, providing choice and distinct brands. Seat sales will continue and the frequent flyer points of both airlines will continue to be honoured according to their respective programs.
There will be reciprocal code sharing on the flights of both Air Canada and Canadian Airlines, permitting passengers to continue to support their choice of frequent flyer program.
Canadian Airline`s network will eventually be part of Star Alliance, offering customers the benefits of the world`s largest, most comprehensive global airline alliance. Star Alliance benefits include access to an unprecedented 280 lounges worldwide for eligible frequent flyer members as well as accumulation and redemption of qualifying miles with the world`s leading carriers.