Air Canada poised for major Asian expansion

Air Canada (AC) has embarked on an international flight expansion, which it describes as the “most far-reaching in our 75-year history”.

The carrier announced yesterday that flights from Canada to Asian cities such as Beijing, Seoul and Narita Tokyo would increase. It also revealed the start up of a thrice weekly Toronto-Seoul service on June 2, 2013, using a B777-300ER, which complements the existing Vancouver-Seoul run. This means that AC will be providing daily flights to the Korean capital from two Canadian hubs.

Also in June, the Toronto-Beijing service will be enhanced with three weekly flights, bringing the total to 10 a week; four extra flights will be added to the Vancouver-Beijing route for a total of 11 weekly departures, including a new late-night service; and Calgary-Tokyo Narita will go daily with two extra weekly flights in May. A B777-300ER has been assigned to the first two services, while the latter service will utilise a B767-300ER.

Of the North American carriers, which include Delta, United, American and Continental, AC has been the least aggressive in capitalising on the ever-prospering fortunes of the Asia-Pacific region. It has only seen profit in one out of the past six years, according to industry reports.

This latest move, aviation experts say, reflects the new world market thinking that Asia-Pacific and the Middle East are the best sources of yield recovery.

Air Canada is also planning to launch a thrice weekly Toronto-Istanbul service, operating a B767-00ER aircraft.

For more about Air Canada, visit www.aircanada.com

Margie T Logarta


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