Air Canada, United Ramp Up Transborder Lift
Through their enhanced transborder joint business agreement, Air Canada and United Airlines have announced they’ll offer industry leading capacity and new routes between Canada and the U.S. for summer 2023.
That includes a new United-operated flight between Washington-Dulles and Calgary and a new Air Canada-operated flight between Washington-Dulles and Vancouver.
The carriers have collaboratively optimized their schedules, subject to applicable government and regulatory conditions, and added more flights to provide customers greater connectivity and more flexible flight times, with over 80 transborder codeshare routes and more than 260 daily flights.
Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada, said: “Through our longstanding partnership with United Airlines, Air Canada has been able to offer customers ever-increasing and significant benefits. This summer, customers will have even greater choice and convenience with our joint summer schedule made possible by our airlines’ new enhanced transborder agreement. Together we will offer more than 260 daily departures to the U.S, and new non-stop flights from Vancouver and Calgary to Washington-Dulles.”
Galardo continued: “Our coordinated schedules will provide business travelers with the convenience of hourly service and the additional comfort of a business cabin on all flights between Toronto and New York and Chicago, as well as Vancouver and San Francisco.”
Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances at United Airlines, said: “We’re proud of our continued work with Air Canada to provide customers with even greater transborder connectivity, including adding more flights and new direct service to Calgary and Vancouver from Washington Dulles.”
Quayle pointed out that: “With schedules designed to give customers more flexibility with timing and more convenient connection options, as well as the ability to enjoy the benefits of both airlines’ loyalty programs, our agreement with Air Canada makes United the premier U.S. airline for travel to Canada.”
New, non-stop service between Vancouver and Washington-Dulles will begin June 1 and will be operated with an Air Canada Boeing 737 Max 8. United will also introduce a new, non-stop flight between Calgary and Washington-Dulles on June 2 on an Airbus 319. Air Canada and United will codeshare on these flights, allowing Aeroplan or MileagePlus members to accumulate and redeem miles. Eligible customers and loyalty plan members will also be able to enjoy benefits including priority check-in, lounge access, priority boarding and other benefits where available.
The two carriers will operate more than 260 daily transborder departures in summer 2023, about a 20% increase in schedule capacity compared to summer 2022. The schedule will include up to 120 daily departures between the airlines’ hub markets, an increase from 101 in summer 2021. Flights will be timed to offer optimized connections at both Air Canada and United’s hubs and line stations.
The coordinated schedule will enable both carriers to offer shuttle-style hourly service throughout the day between key Air Canada and United hubs. The airlines will offer 29 daily flights with complementary timings between Toronto and New York/Newark and Chicago, and 11 daily flights between Vancouver and San Francisco.
The airlines’ summer schedule also provides increased transborder service between the U.S. and Western Canada. There will be nine daily flights between Vancouver and New York/Newark, Houston and Chicago, and seven flights daily between Los Angeles and Vancouver.
A second daily flight will be added between Calgary and both Chicago and Houston, and a second daily flight will also be added from Edmonton to Denver.
Air Canada and United will offer business class seats on every flight between their respective hubs. All eligible customers will be able to enjoy Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounges and United’s lounges, as well as the benefits of the carriers’ Aeroplan and MileagePlus loyalty programs. Additionally, customers will have a wider range of flight options with more than 80 transborder codeshare routes. Overall, customers will be able to connect to over 100 codeshare destinations in the U.S. and 25 of the most popular cities in Canada.
In July 2022, Air Canada and United announced a joint business agreement for the Canada-U.S. transborder market, building on their long-standing partnership that will give more flight options and better flight schedules to customers traveling between the two countries (coordination subject to regulatory conditions). Air Canada and United are also founding members of Star Alliance and a transatlantic joint business agreement with the Lufthansa Group.
In 2019, the U.S.-Canada transborder market was the second largest international passenger air transportation market in the world and the largest international market for both Canada and the U.S., as measured by seats.