Air Canada returns to Taipei

Air Canada new 2017 livery

Air Canada’s daily, year-round service between Vancouver and Taipei has taken off, marking the airline’s return to Taiwan after it cut services to the island back in 2002.

The newly revived Taipei flights are the second new Asia-Pacific route the carrier has launched this month, following the commencement of its Vancouver-Nagoya four-times-weekly seasonal service on June 1. Unlike the Nagoya flights, which are operated under the Air Canada Rouge brand using a B767-300ER, the airline’s Taipei flights will be operated under the mainline Air Canada brand using its B787-9 Dreamliner. This means 30 lie-flat pod suites (1-2-1) will be available in business class along with 21 premium economy (2-3-2) and 247 economy class (3-3-3) seats.

“Air Canada is very pleased to return to Taipei, an important and significant economic centre, as part of our ongoing global expansion,” said the airline’s president of passenger airlines, Benjamin Smith.

“Our Taipei flights are operated with our state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliners featuring our industry-leading international services. The strategic addition of these daily year-round flights strengthens our YVR trans-Pacific hub which, combined with our extensive North American network, provides convenient options and a competitive elapsed travel time between North American and Taiwan.”

Flight AC011 departs Vancouver at 1110 local time and arrives in Taipei the following day at 1415. The return AC012 service then flies out of the Taiwan capital at 1555, landing in Vancouver at 1125.

Air Canada has been notably eyeing connectivity to Asia-Pacific, with a seasonal Vancouver-Melbourne service set to launch this December. The route is currently scheduled to run from December 1, 2017 to February 4, 2018.

Meanwhile, its codeshare agreement with Virgin Australia kicked off late last month, providing access to the Australian carrier’s domestic network.

Virgin Australia and Air Canada codeshare kicks in

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) stays busy under a setting sun as nighttime lights start to turn on.

Virgin Australia and Air Canada’s codeshare agreement has begun, with travellers now able to purchase tickets for codeshare flights on select routes operated by the two carriers.

The agreement enables Virgin Australia travellers to book flights from June 1 onwards on Air Canada’s flights between Los Angeles and Toronto, Calgary and Montreal. Virgin Australia operates some 18 weekly return services to Los Angeles from destinations in Australia, including its recently resumed service from Melbourne.

While Vancouver isn’t covered directly as part of the current codeshare agreement, Virgin Australia’s code will be placed on Air Canada’s direct flights between Australia and Vancouver at a later stage of the partnership. These include its recently announced seasonal non-stop flights to Melbourne, which are set to take off starting this December, along with its year-round daily non-stop flights to Sydney and Brisbane.

Air Canada travellers, meanwhile, will now be able to connect with Virgin Australia’s regional flights to destinations across Australasia, notably Adelaide, Canberra, Cairns, Melbourne, Perth, Christchurch and Auckland. Virgin Australia’s services from Sydney to Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and its Brisbane to Wellington service are also covered by the codeshare.

Arguably most notably, these codeshare flights enable reciprocal mileage accrual for the two airlines. This is particularly important for Virgin Australia, which relies heavily on leveraging its agreements with individual airlines to compensate for it not being a member of a major airline alliance. Air Canada, meanwhile, recently announced its Aeroplan programme is scheduled for replacement in 2020 with its own, new scheme.

The initial memorandum of understanding that led to the codeshare agreement was signed back in December 2016, with further phases of cooperation set for the future.;

Air Canada to add seasonal Vancouver-Melbourne service

Air Canada new livery

Air Canada will begin flying direct to Melbourne from Vancouver starting December 1 this year, as part of a network expansion for its northern winter season. The new route is currently scheduled to run from December until February 4, 2018 with flights now available to purchase.

The Canadian carrier will fly the route four times weekly operated by its mainline Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which offers 298 seats across three classes. These include 30 fully flat business class seats each with direct aisle access (1-2-1), 21 premium economy seats in a 2-3-2 setup, and 247 economy class seats in a nine-across (3-3-3) setup.

The new seasonal route follows previous in-roads Air Canada has made into the Australian market, including the announcement of a codeshare agreement last December with Virgin Australia aimed at giving it greater domestic access from its existing long-haul flights.

“Vancouver-Melbourne is our third route to Australia, in addition to year-round service to Sydney and Brisbane,” said Benjamin Smith, president of passenger airlines at Air Canada. “Our seasonal Melbourne service will provide additional options for business travellers between North America and Australia as well as Australians seeking a Canadian winter vacation experience.”

In addition to the new Melbourne service, Air Canada is adding a further five new routes during the northern winter season, including to Orlando and Phoenix in the US, Belize City in Central America, St Vincent in the Caribbean, and Lima in Peru.

Details of the upcoming Vancouver-Melbourne service are as follows (all times local):

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
AC037 YVR MEL 2245 0945+2 Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat
AC038 MEL YVR 1140 0730 Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun

Air Canada unveils new livery, uniforms and menu

Air Canada new 2017 livery

Air Canada yesterday unveiled a new livery design set to be rolled out across its entire fleet, along with new uniforms for its staff and a refreshed on-board menu all marking the country’s 150th anniversary year.

The Canadian carrier’s 300 aircraft will all receive a new look comprising a black and white design along with the return of an encircled version of its signature red maple leaf logo on the tail fin, last utilised by the airline 24 years ago.

The new design was created to reflect the country’s changing seasons, wildlife and First Nations heritage and the first three aircraft to sport the new look – including its Boeing 787 Dreamliner – have entered service. The carrier has a further 14 Dreamliners on order, planned for delivery by 2019.

In line with the new livery, Air Canada’s flight staff has also had a uniform update to reflect the new colour scheme. The refreshed attire features charcoal grey and black with red accents – colours matching the new interior cabin design of the airline’s international fleet – and accessories developed by Canadian designer, Christopher Bates. The uniform is set to roll our later this year, though the carrier has not provided a firm date at this point.

“Air Canada’s new livery signals a pivotal inflection point in our 80-year history,” said Benjamin Smith, president, passenger airlines. “On the occasion of Canada’s 150th anniversary year, with our new livery, new uniforms for our employees, the award-winning international cabin standard introduced with the launch of our B787 aircraft, and enhanced on-board offerings, the future Air Canada represents the strength of our nation and the future-looking spirit of our airline.”

Meanwhile in April, Air Canada will also be rolling out a new in-flight menu that includes Lavazza Italian coffee, Toronto-based Dufflet Pastries’ pumpkin spice loaf (on flights to Europe in economy and premium economy), Quebec artisanal bread and a selection of Quebec fine cheeses. International business class passengers, meanwhile, also will be offered new wine options, including white wine from Vineland Estates Winery from Ontario’s Niagara region and a French pinot noir, Les Athlètes du Vin, which have both been selected by sommelier Véronique Rivest.

Air Canada is planning to launch a number of new international routes in 2017, among them Asia-Pacific services including Montreal-Shanghai, Vancouver-Taipei and Vancouver-Nagoya.

Cathay Pacific launches partnerships with Air Canada and Hertz

Cathay Pacific B777-300ER

Cathay Pacific has announced two new separate partnerships with Air Canada and car rental company Hertz Global.

The agreement between the two carriers will include Cathay Pacific codesharing on Air Canada’s flights within Canada including to Winnipeg, Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Halifax and St. Johns. Cathay Pacific passengers will be able to book travel on these flights connecting with the Hong Kong carrier’s three daily flights to Vancouver and daily flights to Toronto.

Air Canada, meanwhile, will place its code on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights connecting with the Canadian airline’s double daily services to Hong Kong from Vancouver and Toronto. These flights include to Manila, Cebu, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Tickets for all codeshare flights will go on sale January 12, 2017 for travel beginning January 19.

In addition to the codeshare, the partnership will offer members Asia Miles and Aeroplan reciprocal mileage accrual and redemption benefits.

“Our new codeshare agreement with Air Canada significantly broadens the Canadian network and connectivity for our customers, increasing our reach and expanding choices,” said Cathay Pacific chief executive, Ivan Chu. “Canada is a key destination for Cathay Pacific – the launch of our non-stop service to Vancouver in 1983 marked our very first route to North America – and we look forward to working together with Air Canada and welcome guests from the airline onto our flights soon.”

Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific also announced yesterday (Thursday, December 22) it has entered into a partnership with car rental company Hertz Global, establishing it as Cathay’s exclusive online car rental service provider.

Cathay passengers who book flights or travel packages through its website will enjoy discounts on Hertz Rent A Car basic car rental, along with Marco Polo Club members being able to receive complimentary car class upgrades.

To mark the launch of the agreement, an introductory discount of up to 20 per cent off basic car rentals at select locations in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia is currently being offered. The promotion lasts until January 31, 2017 for car collection between January 1 and March 31, with Asia Miles members earning up to 2,000 extra miles for each qualifying rental. This promotion is in addition to Hertz and Asia Miles’ existing partnership, enabling members to accrue 500 miles for Hertz reservations outside Asia, 250 within Asia).

After the introductory offer, Cathay Pacific passengers will receive an automatic 5 per cent discount on basic car rentals in any destination, while Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles members will receive a 10 per cent discount and mileage accrual. Marco Polo Club Green and Silver members will receive a complimentary one-car class upgrade, while Gold and Diamond members can get a two-car class upgrade at no additional cost. Diamond members also receive a 10 per cent discount on Hertz Prestige and Fun Collection vehicles.

“The new exclusive multi-brand website we have launched for Cathay Pacific’s passengers will allow them to find the car rental service that best suits their needs in just a few clicks,” said Hertz Asia Pacific vice president, Eoin MacNeill. “We are looking forward to offer Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles members even more exclusive benefits and to welcoming all Cathay Pacific passengers looking for convenience and reliable options when renting a car.”;;

Virgin Australia to codeshare with Air Canada

Passengers flying Virgin Australia will soon be able to take advantage of Air Canada’s Los Angeles to Canada services following a new codeshare agreement between the two airlines, set to begin in early 2017. The new codeshare is the first stage of a wider Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the two airlines today (December 15).

Virgin Atlantic will begin codesharing on Air Canada’s up to 18 flights per day from Los Angeles to Toronto (YYZ), Vancouver (YVR), Calgary (YYC) and Montreal (YUL). Members of the airline’s frequent flyer programme Velocity will be able to earn Velocity Points when travelling on these services.

“We are thrilled to be working closely with a world-class airline in Air Canada to deliver new benefits for our customers, including the planned introduction of direct codeshare flights between Australia and Canada,” said John Thomas, Virgin Australia group executive. “Our Agreement with Air Canada will provide our frequent flyers with more opportunities to earn – and soon redeem – Velocity Points.”

Meanwhile, travellers flying into Australia on Air Canada’s daily Boeing 787 services from Vancouver to Brisbane and B777-200LR services to Sydney will be able to fly on connecting Virgin Australia flights to destinations across Australasia. These include to Adelaide, Canberra, Cairns, Melbourne, Perth, Christchurch, and Auckland.

Air Canada Aeroplan members can earn Aeroplan Miles when travelling on these codeshare services, in addition to on Virgin Australia’s Sydney to Brisbane, Sydney to the Gold Coast and Brisbane to Wellington services.

Reciprocal frequent flyer redemption benefits between the two airlines will be introduced at a subsequent stage of the agreement, with details set to be announced in 2017. The Australian carrier also plans to place its code on Air Canada’s direct flights between Australia (Brisbane and Sydney) and Vancouver in the future.

Virgin Australia also operates daily B777 flights from Sydney and Brisbane to Los Angeles and will introduce five flights per week between Melbourne and Los Angeles in April 2017.;