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Air Canada to expand North Carolina service, adds new blockchain tech

Air Canada to expand North Carolina service, adds new blockchain tech

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

MONTREAL — Air Canada is ramping up its services to North Carolina with the launch of daily flights from Montreal and the deployment of larger aircraft.

Starting June 3, 2019, the airline will offer a new nonstop daily flight between Montreal and Raleigh onboard a 50-seat Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ).

Plus, beginning May 1, 2019 from Toronto, three-times daily flights to Raleigh and twice-daily service to Charlotte will be upgraded to a 76-seat, Embraer E175 aircraft from a CRJ. According to Air Canada, this is being done to increase capacity on these routes and introduce Business Class service.

“The new Montreal-Raleigh service will be the only nonstop flight between these cities, while customers travelling between Toronto and Raleigh and Charlotte will now have the option of Business Class, offering an upgraded flying experience,” said Mark Galardo, Vice President, Network Planning. “While always a popular leisure destination, North Carolina is also experiencing strong economic growth and Air Canada is making it more convenient and comfortable for customers to travel between Canada and the state.”

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In other Air Canada news, the airline has signed a letter of intent to participate in a blockchain-based, decentralized open-source travel distribution platform by Swiss startup Winding Tree.

The complexity of the current travel distribution landscape can deter new entrants and innovation in the distribution and sale of air travel products, says the airline. Winding Tree intends to address this complexity by developing a decentralized, open-source platform for travel distribution to provide greater access to inventory directly from suppliers.

Air Canada is the first North American carrier to work with Winding Tree’s public blockchain platform.

“As Canada’s largest airline, and a global leader in innovative airline distribution solutions, Air Canada recognizes the importance of leveraging this next generation technology,” said Keith Wallis, Director of Global Product Distribution for Air Canada. “We plan to integrate Air Canada’s Direct Connect API with Winding Tree’s public blockchain platform, giving blockchain-savvy users the ability to access our content directly from the source.”

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Asked if and how the new technology will impact travel agents, Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick said: “At this point we are working with Winding Tree to explore the development of a blockchain-based platform so it is a bit premature to get into details. However, we do see this as potentially being beneficial to travel agents who adopt blockchain, giving them another avenue to access our inventory.”

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