Air Canada Unveils Global Expansion with Focus on Asia Gateways
By Claudette Covey
November 29, 2012 10:02 PM
Air Canada is expanding its international services with a new nonstop route between Toronto and Seoul, starting service to Istanbul subject to government approval, adding seven weekly departures to Beijing from Toronto and Vancouver, and upgrading its Calgary-Tokyo Narita route to provide daily service.
“Air Canada is seizing the opportunities of the Pacific Century with the most far-reaching international expansion of its schedule in its 75-year history,” said Air Canada Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Ben Smith. “With our Asia expansion alone, we will be flying 11 daily departures or more than 43,000 seats a week across the Pacific Ocean this summer -- a commitment of up to 14 widebody aircraft valued in excess of $2 billion.”
Air Canada’s service to Istanbul offers easy connections throughout Turkey and points in Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa with its Star Alliance partner Turkish Airlines. The nonstop Istanbul service will begin June 4. Subject to government approval, Air Canada will begin flying three times weekly, year round to the historic city which also serves as a gateway to other destinations in Turkey, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Flights will be operated with a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. It will be the only early evening departure from Toronto to Istanbul.
The launch on June 2 of a new Toronto-Seoul service operating three times a week will create a fifth Asian destination from Air Canada’s Toronto hub. The year-round service, operated with a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, will complement existing Vancouver-to-Seoul service by providing daily departures from Canada to Seoul.
An addition of three more weekly departures between Toronto and Beijing starting June 1 will bring the total number of departures from Toronto to Beijing to 10 a week. The flights will be operated with a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Four additional departures each week between Vancouver and Beijing will start June 1, for a total of 11 weekly departures, including a new late-night flight timed to be convenient for business travelers. The flights will be operated with a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.
The airline will upgrade its Calgary-Tokyo Narita service starting May 1 to offer daily departures, up from five a week last summer. The flights are operated with a Boeing 767-300ER.