Air Canada Inks Codeshare Deal with Avianca ahead of Summer Games
Photo courtesy of Air Canada
Avianca Brazil and Air Canada, both members of the Star Alliance, have started a major codeshare agreement that will give Canadians easier access to most of the major cities in Brazil starting on May 9. The deal went into effect on Thursday, so tickets are now on sale.
More destinations in Brazil
Air Canada, which flies from Toronto Pearson to Sao Paulo daily and to Rio de Janeiro three times per week, is now offering tickets under its own code for connecting flights operated in Brazil by Avianca. The new options include flights to Brasília, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and São Paulo.
There are currently also negotiations that would allow Avianca to sell tickets for Air Canada flights under its own code. This would not only make it easier for Brazilians to get to Toronto from Rio or Sao Paulo, but to connect to any destination in Canada served by AC.
READ MORE: Air Canada Takes Dreamliner 787-9 Delivery
Summer Olympics will drive demand in the short term
The upcoming Summer Olympics will certainly drive up demand and make the code-share deal worthwhile in the short term. The spike in traffic for the Games will benefit both airlines.
Air Canada sees long-term potential as well. Canada and Brazil are major trade partners, and there are currently about 500 Canadian companies doing business in Brazil. This means that there is a large market for business travel that will only get larger if Brazil is able to climb out of its current economic slump. There is at least a little bit of optimism that some sort of economic turn-around will take place as the result of the Games.
A shrewd move?
Of course, Brazil is also currently dealing with a great deal of economic and political turmoil. This might affect the long-term prospects of the codeshare deal, but the agreement will protect Air Canada from having to risk too much in Brazil. The flag carrier can still keep a limited profile in the country with its routes to Sao Paulo and Rio, while at the same time offering its customers connections to other cities without having to increase its own operations. So the deal brings more upside to Air Canada than to Avianca.
The Brazilian carrier could also benefit in the long term if the economy turns around and demand for business travel rises. Avianca will certainly also welcome the short term profits that will come from sky-high demand during the Olympics.
More by Josh Lew
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