Air China, Air Canada Enhance Strategic Cooperation
Air Canada and Air China Limited 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 percent 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.
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.
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.
Air Canada’s new Boeing 737 MAX enters regular service to transport customers with next generation amenities
On December 11, 2017, Air Canada embarked on the next phase of its transformation with the entry into scheduled service of its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Flight AC137 from Toronto to Calgary was the first to be operated using the 169-seat, fuel-efficient aircraft, featuring Air Canada's next generation in-flight entertainment system, spacious overhead storage bin capacity and Boeing's Sky Interior. It then flew passengers from Calgary to Montreal, followed by service from Montreal to Vancouver.
Air Canada has 61 firm orders for the 737 MAX. They are to be delivered by 2021, with 18 due to enter the fleet by the end of 2018. Its first scheduled flights in North America include service to Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal.
The aircraft is also scheduled to operate internationally to Keflavik, Dublin and Shannon starting in summer 2018. Air Canada has configured the 737 MAX in two cabins of service, North American Business and Economy.
Features of the new aircraft include:
- Premium comfort and ambiance with improved seats and innovative LED mood lighting along the ceiling;
- An upgraded in-flight entertainment system with a sleek, new 15 language user interface. Coming soon, passengers will be able to stream video and audio to their own devices;
- Faster Wi-Fi due to antennas with the highest bandwidth available in the industry, available starting in early 2018;
- Upgraded overhead storage space compartments offer additional space for every single passenger to bring a carry-on bag;
- The latest quiet engine technology for up to 40 percent less noise, meaning more peace and quiet for customers when flying;
- The 737 MAX uses 20 percent less fuel per seat than the original Next-Generation 737.