By John Flett
Air Canada Announces Atlantic and South American Network Expansion
Air Canada has announced their Summer 2022 schedule in a further sign of positive growth and confidence as the airline industry recovers from the impacts of the pandemic. The airline’s plans for Europe, Africa, and The Middle East include year-round and seasonal services. Barcelona, Venice, Nice, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Reykjavik will see a resumption on a seasonal basis alongside Cairo, Athens, Rome and Lisbon that returned in 2021 and resume again in the spring. Copenhagen, Madrid and Milan will also see the beginning of year-round services beginning in the spring.
Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management, said: “As we continue to rebuild our global network, Air Canada is excited to plan its return to these popular leisure destinations across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, offering its customers to explore the world again. Our schedule will enable convenient onward travel through our Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary hubs to and from our global destinations.” The announcement brings the total of year-round and seasonal destinations services across the Atlantic to twenty-nine.
The Canadian carrier also announced its continued commitment to the South American market with the resumption of services to Bogotá, Colombia from Montreal in December and increases in the service from Toronto from November. Service will also resume to Santiago, Chile from Toronto in January 2022, Montreal to São Paulo, Brazil in December and the expansion to a daily Toronto- São Paulo in December. The airline will operate the Airbus A330-300 on the Bogota route and the Boeing 787 to São Paulo operation. Buenos Aires will also be serviced four times a week via São Paulo.
Mr. Galardo added: “We are very excited to serve some of the largest cities in South America, offering our customers more travel options from our main hubs. By resuming services from Montreal and adding capacity from Toronto, Air Canada is demonstrating its strong commitment to the Brazilian, Argentinian, Colombian and Chilean markets. This increased presence will not only allow for greater leisure travel, but it will also help spur the economic recovery and facilitate business connections. Air Canada has a long-standing presence in Brazil, operating from Toronto for several decades, contributing to the strong business relationship between the two countries.”
Leisure travel and the visiting friends and relatives (VFR) markets are expected to be the main focus for airlines as businesses refocus on the shaping of the new travel landscape. Air Canada is expected to announce further route network expansion in the near future. Mr. Galardo concluded with a note of optimism to prospective passengers who may be wary of traveling post-pandemic. “Start planning ahead and book with confidence,” he said. “We are sincerely looking forward to welcoming you on board.”