A Natural Advantage

The newly appointed executive VP of revenue and network planning at Air Canada extolled the airline’s goal of making Vancouver the premier trans-Pacific airline hub on the North American west coast, during a special event in Vancouver this week.

As part of his remarks to some of the top retail agency account holders in the area, Mark Galardo said that Air Canada would continue to build on YVR’s natural advantage as the closest geographic point to Asia from North America.

He noted that Air Canada has continued to post top returns, including its most profitable decade in Air Canada history, despite being subject to all manner of international market forces. Emerging from the pandemic, the airline was “stronger than ever,” said Galardo.

And he pointed to Air Canada’s flight schedule to Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) as an example of the airline’s record in serving Asia from YVR. Gallardo said that the relatively new seasonal route – launched late in 2022 – will be back with more flights for next year’s seasonal schedule, running from November to March. Air Canada is the only carrier to offer non-stop flights to Thailand from North America, he said.

Galardo came to Vancouver with an executive team that included Lisa M. Pierce, Air Canada VP of global sales and Air Canada Vacations. She welcomed her newest leadership team members Virgilio Russi, Air Canada VP of international sales and Nino Montagnese, VP of Air Canada Vacations. They all convened at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel.

They were introduced by Lucie Guillemette, executive Air Canada VP and chief commercial officer, who will retire at the end of April this year, ending a successful career touching five decades at Canada’s flag carrier. The realigned senior management structure at Air Canada will take effect with Guillemette’s departure.

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Captions for Photos 


Jerry Lo, VP western Canada for Royal Scenic Holidays (l.), met with Mark Galardo, Air Canada executive VP of revenue and network planning, and Lisa M. Pierce, AC VP of global sales and Air Canada Vacations, during the Air Canada event at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel recently.


Lucie Guillemette, Air Canada executive VP and chief commercial officer (l.) led the team of AC executives in Vancouver recently, meeting with (l. to r.) David Lowy, president of Renshaw Travel; Edna Ray, AC senior manager of regional sales; and Tracey Bellamy, AC director of Canada sales and global accounts.


Nino Montagnese, VP of Air Canada Vacations (l.), met with leading travel retailers in Vancouver recently, including (l. to r.) Sue Urie of the Travel Leaders Network, Arturo Hernandez of My Planet Holidays & Cruises, and Kristine Sigurdson of the Vancouver Hotel Destination Association.