Air Canada and United Airlines sign new joint business agreement

Air Canada and United Airlines sign new joint business agreement

MONTREAL — Air Canada passengers will have a greater number of flight options between Canada and the United States, thanks to a new joint business agreement with United Airlines.

Building on the airlines’ long-standing alliance, the agreement will allow customers to connect to 38 codeshare destinations in the U.S. and eight of Canada’s most popular cities. They’ll also be able to enjoy the benefits of the carriers’ MileagePlus and Aeroplan loyalty programs.

Customers who search for flights between the U.S. and Canada on United’s or Air Canada’s websites and apps will find more flight options scheduled at more convenient times. Codeshare between the two airlines will also be expanded and members of both loyalty programs will have more accrual and redemption options.

“This agreement marks a new phase in our evolving relationship that will speed the recovery from the pandemic and strengthen both carriers,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President of Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada. “It will also enable us to optimize our hubs and schedules and to broaden our global network connectivity to maintain our leadership in the market.”

Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances at United, added: “As international travel continues to recover, this expanded partnership will provide an enhanced experience for all transborder travel.”

In 2019, the U.S.-Canada transborder market was the second largest international passenger air transportation market in the world and the largest international market for both Canada and the U.S., as measured by seats. Air Canada and United already cooperate in the transborder market, according to the terms of their existing U.S. antitrust immunity.

Under the new agreement (subject to compliance with U.S. and Canadian regulatory and antitrust requirements), the two airlines will now abe able to:

  • Coordinate their networks and schedules, enabling the carriers to offer customers more choice, including more flights throughout the day and more access to each airline’s seat inventory.
  • Enhance codeshare on transborder flights, excluding certain U.S. leisure markets and territories. The carriers anticipate customers will be able to connect to 46 transborder codeshare destinations with more than 400 daily frequencies in 2022 – with opportunities to add more codeshare destinations for domestic routes within Canada and the U.S.
  • Sell seats on each other’s transborder flights and share revenue on flights between hub markets (where regulatory authorities and antitrust requirements allow), allowing the carriers to grow their overall capacities.
  • Align customer policies for greater consistency and enable the seamless provision of onboard products, establish airport co-locations where available and provide extra value to each carriers’ frequent flyer programs.
  • Allow the two carriers to work closer together to advance their sustainability objectives.