The FINANCIAL — Qatar Airways has finalised a codeshare agreement with Air Canada applicable for travel between Doha and Toronto. Sales have started with the first codeshare flight to operate from 15 December 2020. The agreement reinforces Qatar Airways’ long-term commitment to Canadian passengers, and to boosting Canada’s global connectivity to support the recovery of tourism and trade.
Qatar Airways’ passengers can now enjoy seamless, one-stop connections to and from Toronto via the Best Airport in the Middle East, Hamad International Airport. Air Canada passengers will benefit from being able to book travel on Qatar Airways’ flights between Toronto and Doha and onwards to more than 75 destinations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are delighted to secure this strategic codeshare agreement with Air Canada to provide our travellers with a seamless journey to and from Toronto with excellence in state-of-the-art and sustainable aircraft, safety, comfort and onboard service. The agreement will increase choices for thousands of passengers and allows for smooth connectivity to a significant number of new destinations – particularly throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East. By harnessing our complementary strengths, this agreement will also provide benefits to aid the recovery of international travel.”
Qatar Airways began flying to Canada in June 2011 with three weekly flights to Montreal that expanded to four weekly in December 2018. The airline has worked closely with the Government of Canada and its embassies around the world throughout the pandemic, temporarily operating three weekly services to Toronto in addition to charter flights to Vancouver to help bring more than 40,000 passengers home to Canada.
Qatar Airways’ strategic investment in a variety of fuel-efficient, twin-engine aircraft, including the largest fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft, has enabled it to continue flying throughout this crisis and perfectly positions it to lead the sustainable recovery of international travel. The airline recently took delivery of three new state-of-the-art Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, increasing its total A350 fleet to 52 with an average age of just 2.6 years. Due to COVID-19’s impact on travel demand, the airline has grounded its fleet of Airbus A380s as it is not environmentally justifiable to operate such a large, four-engine aircraft in the current market. Qatar Airways has also recently launched a new programme that enables passengers to voluntarily offset the carbon emissions associated with their journey at the point of booking.
By the end of the IATA Winter Season, Qatar Airways plans to rebuild its network to 126 destinations including 20 in Africa, 11 in the Americas, 42 in Asia-Pacific, 38 in Europe and 15 in the Middle East. Many cities will be served with a strong schedule with daily or more frequencies.
A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. The Qsuite seat layout is a 1-2-1 configuration, providing passengers with the most spacious, fully private, comfortable and social distanced Business Class product in the sky. It is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted ‘Skytrax Airline of the Year’ title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.
Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline. Canada’s flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2019 served over 51 million customers. Ranked as a high quality Four-Star airline by Skytrax, Air Canada was also awarded the 2019 Best Airline in North America.