MONTREAL–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dignitaries and top government officials led by the Chinese ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Luo Zhaohui and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre welcomed the arrival of Air China’s inaugural flight, CA 879, from Beijing today. Quebec’s Minister of Trade and Commerce and his delegation returned to Montreal from their trade mission on board the first Beijing-Montreal flight. Minister Jacques Daoust also spoke at the press conference.
Operated by Air China’s new-generation B777-300ER, the new thrice weekly nonstop service connects Montreal not only to Beijing but also to the rest of Asia.
Today’s elaborate welcome ceremonies at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) showed the importance of this new service. It is expected to boost the local economy and tourism industry in the region. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the total number of trips abroad from China is estimated to have increased by 11 million to 109 million in 2014. China is the largest outbound market since 2012 with a total expenditure of US$ 129 billion in 2013.
“This is a great day for Aéroports de Montréal, a proud moment that we will all remember for a long time to come,” said a beaming James Cherry, the airport authority’s President and CEO, soon after exiting the plane arriving from the Chinese capital. “The direct route between Montréal and Beijing, the very first scheduled transpacific direct link out of Montréal–Trudeau, is a reality at last. China has never been as close as it is today.”
Montreal is the newest in a string of expansions in North America by China’s national carrier. However, it’s only the airline’s second gateway in Canada and the first in more than 20 years after Air China launched its Vancouver service.
“Today we stand on the cusp of history as we become the first airline to connect Montreal, China and Asia directly. We are honored to be the bridge that brings together the people and culture of our two great destinations,” Mr. Wang Yingnian, Air China’s Chief Pilot, said.
“This new service strengthens Air China’s presence in the China-Canada market where there is a robust demand for air travel, especially in Montreal, Canada’s second largest city,” he added.
Featuring state-of-the-art green technology, the B777-300ER delivers better fuel performance and is much quieter than any other aircraft. With a spacious three-cabin interior, ambient lighting and an enhanced entertainment system, the triple seven offers a smooth, comfortable experience. Air China’s B777-300ER features eight luxury suites in the Forbidden Pavilion (first class), 41 fully-flat sleeper seats in the Capital Pavilion (business class) and 259 economy seats with individual TV monitors and in-seat audio-video on demand.
By the end of 2015, Air China will have nonstop services between Beijing and nine gateways in North America: New York (2x daily); Newark (4x/week; Los Angeles (3x daily); San Francisco (daily); Houston (daily); Washington Dulles (4x/week); Honolulu (3x/week); Vancouver (daily) and Montreal (3x/week).
Air Canada rouge’s 2016 summer season will introduce seasonal non-stop service from:
Montreal to Casablanca, the first African destination in Air Canada’s network
Toronto to Prague, Budapest, Glasgow and Warsaw, all new destinations
Seats on all these new routes are now available for purchase at a special introductory fare starting as low as CAD$869 roundtrip, all-in for travel before July 2016
MONTREAL, Sept. 9, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today announced one of its most far-reaching summer schedule expansions ever with its first route to Africa and the addition of four major European cities to its global network. The new Air Canada rouge service to Casablanca, Morocco, means Air Canada will be one of only a dozen airlines in the world that serve six continents.
“Air Canada is solidifying its position among leading global carriers by becoming one of only a dozen airlines flying to six continents with today’s announcement of non-stop service to Casablanca, our first destination in Africa. Our Montreal-Casablanca flight will also be the only service to North Africa by a North American carrier and our aim is to transform this new route into a year-round operation. Our new, non-stop Air Canada rouge routes to Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, and Glasgow from Toronto Pearson are equally important as we continue to build out our network from our global gateway hub with more international destinations. The European services will be complemented by our Star Alliance partners, giving customers an even wider choice of travel options,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.
All the new services will be operated by Air Canada rouge, Air Canada’s leisure carrier. All flights will be flown using a 280-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft offering a choice of premium and economy cabins. Customers will have the ability to collect and redeem Aeroplan miles. Seats are now available for purchase. To promote these new non-stop routes, Air Canada is offering a special introductory fare starting as low as CAD$869 roundtrip, all-in for travel before July 2016.
Toronto-Prague: service begins May 29, 2016 with flight AC1922 and operates three times weekly. Departs Toronto at 16:55 on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, arriving in Prague at 7:20 the next day. Return flight AC1923 departs Prague at 9:30 and arrives in Toronto 12:40 on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Service ends for the season on Sept. 29, 2016.
Montreal-Casablanca: service begins June 3, 2016 with flight AC1936 and operates four times weekly, subject to obtaining the necessary government approvals. Departs Montreal at 21:40 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, arriving in Casablanca at 10:00 the next day. Return flight AC1937 departs Casablanca at 11:55 and arrives in Montreal at 14:45 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Service ends for the season on Oct. 17, 2016.
Toronto-Budapest: service begins June 10, 2016 with flight AC1910 and operates three times weekly. Departs Toronto at 22:35 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, arriving in Budapest 13:35 the next day. Return flight AC1911 departs Budapest at 15:05 and arrives in Toronto at 18:45 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Service ends for the season on Oct. 15, 2016.
Toronto-Glasgow: service begins June 13, 2016 with flight AC1938 and operates three times weekly. Departs Toronto at 18:55 on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, arriving in Glasgow at 6:40 the next day. Return flight AC1939 departs Glasgow at 8:25 and arrives in Toronto 10:50 on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Service ends for the season on Sept. 25, 2016.
Toronto-Warsaw: service begins June 16, 2016 with flight AC1926 and operates three times weekly. Departs Toronto at 18:30 on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, arriving in Warsaw at 9:30 the next day. Return flight AC1927 departs Warsaw at 11:00 and arrives Toronto 14:50 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Service ends for the season on Sept. 30, 2016.
Since 2009, Air Canada has increased its system-wide international capacity, measured by seats, by approximately 50 per cent. This year, Air Canada launched new international services from Montreal to Venice and Mexico, Vancouver to Osaka, and Toronto to Amsterdam. In November, the airline will launch non-stop service to Dubai and Delhi from Toronto and it has also announced new service beginning in 2016 to Brisbane from Vancouver, to Lyon from Montreal, and to London-Gatwick from Toronto.
Icelandair in 2016 will introduce Montreal as its 5th gateway in Canada, with 4 weekly Reykjavik – Montreal service, starting 19MAY16. This route will be operated by Boeing 757 aircraft.
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