Air China and Air Canada have announced a joint venture that would see more coordination on flights and marketing between the two airlines.
In a joint release, both airlines will be partnering more international and domestic travel from Canada and China. It added that the deal enables the airlines to "expand their existing codeshare agreement" and to begin "increasing commercial cooperation" on both Canada-China flights and domestic flights within both countries.
As terms of the agreement, Air Canada and Air China will coordinate over the next few months on flight schedules, frequent flyer programs, marketing and sales efforts. The agreement would mark the first joint venture between a Chinese and North American airline.
Air Canada’s chief executive Calin Rovinescu said the agreement, which has been in the works since 2014, “is an important strategy in our global expansion as it significantly increases Air Canada’s presence in an aviation market set to become the world’s largest by 2022.”
"Working cooperatively with our partner Air Canada, we will be able to provide more travel options and benefits for customers traveling between China and Canada while reducing travel times through a more streamlined travel experience," said Song Zhiyong, President and Executive Director of Air China Limited. "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. Over the past five years the Canada-China air travel market has grown on average by almost 11 per cent annually and this trend is expected to remain strong according to airline industry trade group IATA."
The joint venture will further strengthen the partnership between the two airlines, who also are members of the Star Alliance.