Air Canada and Air China have completed a memorandum of understanding which establishes the framework of a comprehensive revenue sharing joint venture, an agreement which the companies state will provide for an enhanced partnership on routes between Canada and China and in turn, stimulate traffic growth between the two countries.
The announcement, made this past weeekend by Prime Minister Stephen Harper prior to a meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) member nations, is the first step toward an agreement which the two carriers say will generate additional service and pricing benefits for consumers travelling between the two countries, as well as provide for enhanced cooperation between the two carriers in the areas of sales, marketing and airport operations.
The joint venture is expected to come into effect by the end of 2015, subject to Air Canada and Air China making the necessary filings, obtaining competition and other regulatory approvals and finalizing documentation.
Currently, Air China offers its customers codeshare flights operated by Air Canada between Vancouver and six Canadian cities (Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal) and Air Canada offers its customers codeshare flights operated by Air China between Beijing and six cities in China (Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Shenyang, Wuhan and Xi'an).
Currently, Air Canada operates up to a total of 28 flights per week between Canada and China, from Toronto and Vancouver to and from Beijing and Shanghai. Air China operates up to 11 flights per week between Beijing and Vancouver.