Air Canada and United Airlines recently announced that they would be working together to expand their alliance and bring more benefits to their customers. Both companies agreed on providing more flight options and optimizing travel schedules for passengers in the transborder market.
The airlines will connect 38 codeshare destinations in the United States and eight in Canada, extending both carrier’s networks. The new connections will be accessible to customers through the carriers’ websites and apps.
Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President of Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada, said: “United is a world-class airline and we are pleased to significantly expand our well-established partnership to further enhance the customer journey between Canada and the U.S. by offering more choice, greater convenience, and an improved airport experience.”
And added: “This agreement marks a new phase in our evolving relationship that will speed the recovery from the pandemic and strengthen both carriers. It will also enable us to optimize our hubs and schedules and to broaden our global network connectivity to maintain our leadership in the market.”
According to the information shared in the press release, this alliance expansion will offer more benefits for frequent travelers memberships of both companies’ programs, Aeroplan and MileagePlus, and also regular customers.
It’s great news for American and Canadian travelers. Besides offering a greater flight variety, both carriers commit to improving services. United Airlines has recently ranked well among the best in-flight economy experience in the US, this extended alliance might improve both carriers’ services.
Benefits For Travelers
Now that the travel industry has been recovering and interest in travel has peaked across the globe, Air Canada and United Airlines expect to build stronger networks and provide more attractive services for travelers.
Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances at United, said: “As international travel continues to recover, this expanded partnership will provide an enhanced experience for all transborder travel.”
These are a few of the main benefits of the alliance expansion mentioned by the carriers in the announcement:
- Travelers searching for flights between the United States and Canada will find more options, more access to each airline’s seat inventory, and more convenient schedules.
- Members of the frequent flyer loyalty programs —Aeroplan and MileagePlus— will have more accrual and redemption options and also improved services.
- The airlines expect that this year travelers will be able to connect to 46 transborder codeshare destinations with more than 400 daily frequencies.
The carriers have also agreed to work together to improve customer policies and advance their sustainability objectives.
In 2019 the transborder market between the United States and Canada was the second largest international passenger air transportation market—measured by seats— across the globe.
The carrier expects the market to return to pre-pandemic levels, but it is yet to be seen. It might take a little longer than other destinations considering that Canada brought back random COVID-19 testing at airports just a few days ago and foreigners are still required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and download the ArriveCan app to enter Canadian territory.
United Airlines and Air Canada are both members of Star Alliance and the Lufthansa Group and have been expanding their networks, especially now that travelers are eager to explore the world.
A few months ago, Air Canada announced a new partnership with the Mexican airline Aeromar to provide more travel opportunities for Canadian and Mexican travelers. Mexico is one of Canadian travelers’ favorite vacation destination.
United Airlines, on the other hand, has also invested in transatlantic expansions. The carrier restored an abandoned connection —paused for six years— and recently announced that will be resuming routes to Norway.
And, in September, travelers will be able to take a non-stop flight from New York -Newark—where United opened its largest and most incredible club lounge— to Norway.
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