Air China, Air Canada to ex­pand co­op­er­a­tion

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By MAYA LIU in Van­cou­ver For China Daily

China and Canada’s na­tional air­lines, Air China Ltd and Air Canada, are in­creas­ing their co­op­er­a­tion.

The two air­lines signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MOU) in Beijing on Nov 8. The MOU de­fined a com­pre­hen­sive rev­enue-shar­ing joint ven­ture, upon which the two car­ri­ers can en­hance part­ner­ship in sales, mar­ket­ing and air­port op­er­a­tions.

Pas­sen­gers trav­el­ing on Chi­naCanada routes are ex­pected to ben­e­fit from more route op­tions, up­graded ser­vices and lower prices.

The deal was one of the ac­com­plish­ments of Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper’s state visit to China in early Novem­ber.

The joint ven­ture is ex­pected to start by the end of 2015, after all reg­u­la­tory ap­provals are ob­tained.

“This joint ven­ture be­tween Air China and Air Canada will pro­vide many ben­e­fits and com­mer­cial syn­er­gies on the im­por­tant and grow­ing mar­ket for travel and trade be­tween Canada and China,” said Song Zhiy­ong, pres­i­dent and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Air China Ltd.

The Canada-China air travel mar­ket has ex­panded on av­er­age by more than 10 per­cent an­nu­ally over the past five years.

“And this trend is ex­pected to re­main strong, ac­cord­ing to air­line in­dus­try trade group IATA,” Song said.

Air China cur­rently of­fers its cus­tomers code­share flights op­er­ated by Air Canada be­tween Van­cou­ver and six Cana­dian ci­ties (Ed­mon­ton, Cal­gary, Win­nipeg, Toronto, Ot­tawa and Mon­treal).

Air Canada has code­share flights with Air China that go be­tween Beijing and six other ci­ties in China (Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Shenyang, Wuhan and Xi’an). The two air­lines op­er­ate 39 weekly in­ter­na­tional non­stop flights be­tween the two coun­tries.

“By deep­en­ing our co­op­er­a­tion in the ar­eas of sched­ul­ing and sales man­age­ment, the car­ri­ers will be bet­ter able to serve cus­tomers by of­fer­ing more travel op­tions,” said Calin Rovi­nescu, pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Air Canada.

The core prin­ci­ple of the joint ven­ture, ac­cord­ing to Rovi­nescu, is net­work growth.

“With an in­creased num­ber of non-stop flights and tran­sit points, the cus­tomers will be able to get the best flight deals and travel more con­ve­niently,” said Xu Jun­hong, gen­eral man­ager at Air China Canada.

“Air China plans to ex­pand its pres­ence in east­ern Canada in the near fu­ture, so as to bet­ter fa­cil­i­tate the flow of goods and peo­ple be­tween China and Canada,” Xu added.

Air China plans to ex­pand its pres­ence in east­ern Canada in the near fu­ture, so as to bet­ter fa­cil­i­tate the flow of goods and peo­ple be­tween China and Canada.” XU JUN­HONG, GEN­ERAL MAN­AGER AT AIR CHINA CANADA

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