The FINANCIAL — Air Canada and Air China Limited on December 12 announced that the airlines will expand their mutual codeshare services and lounge agreement in time for the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism, recognizing the importance of tourism and trade between the two countries.
As Air Canada and Air China work toward finalizing their planned joint venture, while satisfying both countries’ applicable regulatory conditions, the two Star Alliance carriers also launched their first joint frequent flyer promotion to offer the carriers’ respective Aeroplan and PhoenixMiles members up to 30 per cent bonus miles effective December 15, 2017 for eligible travel between April 1, 2018 and June 15, 2018 on all flights between Canada and China operated by Air China and Air Canada.
As a result of the codeshare expansion, Air China will place its code on Air Canada’s new daily Montreal-Shanghai flight, as well as Air Canada’s flights from Vancouver to Victoria, Kelowna, Saskatoon, and Regina, according to Air Canada.
In addition, Air Canada will place its code on Air China’s flights between Beijing and Zhengzhou, Xiamen, Shenzhen and Nanjing as well as Air China’s flight between Montreal-Havana, Cuba. The expanded codeshare cooperation is planned to come into effect in April 2018, subject to regulatory and government approvals.
Both carriers have also implemented an expanded lounge agreement. In addition to Star Gold customers, all Air China First and Business class customers will now have access to Air Canada’s recently upgraded International Maple Leaf Lounges featuring enhanced food and beverage offerings at Montreal and Vancouver airports. Air Canada’s eligible customers will continue to enjoy access to Air China’s lounges in Beijing, Shanghai and other airports throughout China.
“Air China and Air Canada have built the foundation of a profound cooperation. Both parties will deepen cooperation on code-sharing, lounge services and frequent flyer programs and will put more efforts into the planned joint venture project,” said Zhiyong Song, President of Air China Limited. “By offering a wider range of products and quality services, Air China and Air Canada will bring more convenience and options for our customers.”
“Air Canada and Air China have worked hard over the past several years implementing new routes between Canada and China. In fact, the Canada-China air travel market has grown on average by almost 14 per cent annually over the past six years and this trend is expected to remain strong according to airline industry trade group IATA,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada, in Beijing. “As members of Star Alliance, we are pleased to promote our growing cooperation with the first-ever joint frequent flyer promotion with Air China for our customers. Now, we are focused on finalizing a definitive joint venture agreement that will deepen our cooperation in scheduling and sales to offer customers of both airlines additional travel options throughout our respective networks.”
Currently, Air Canada offers its customers codeshare flights operated by Air China between Beijing and Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Wuhan, Xi’an and Shenyang, and between Montreal and Beijing, and between Vancouver and Beijing. Similarly, Air China offers its customers codeshare flights operated by Air Canada between Vancouver and Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Winnipeg, and between Montreal and Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg, as well as Vancouver and Toronto to and from Beijing and Shanghai.
Air Canada operates up to a total of 35 flights per week between Canada and China, from Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal serving Beijing and Shanghai. Air China operates up to 11 flights per week between China and Canada, from Beijing serving Vancouver and Montreal.