Demand for international routes has been “surprisingly strong” given the circumstances, says Air Canada, but if Canada doesn’t reciprocate global entry privileges soon, we could see more ...
MONTREAL — Air Canada is forging ahead with its new summer 2020 flight schedule to close to 100 destinations in Canada, the U.S. and around the world, as some economies begin to open up, even if the advisory against non-essential travel is still in place for Canadians.
New options for passengers with refundable and non-refundable tickets come amid a mounting consumer furor in the refunds vs. vouchers debate. Options for new, fully-transferable vouchers or Aeroplan Miles with 65% bonus starting June 1 mean more choices and flexibility for rebooking flights should travel plans change, says the airline (see more details below under ‘Bookings and Cancellation Policies’).
Meanwhile the Air Canada CleanCare+ biosecurity program offers peace of mind with the COVID-19 pandemic, says Air Canada.
“Air Canada has put in place an abridged summer schedule offering a choice of nearly 100 destinations across Canada, in the U.S. and internationally,” says Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada.
“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, during which as much as 95% of our flights stopped operating and which has left us flying to less than half last year’s destinations, our customers are expressing their eagerness to travel, where it is safe to do so. We are accordingly gradually opening for sale flights for the summer and beyond as we rebuild our network, leveraging our strong position as a global airline,” she adds.
“Air Canada is ready for take-off, and we look forward to welcoming our customers onboard.”
Guillemette notes that “while the world is making great progress against COVID-19, we know we must remain vigilant, which includes being flexible. This is why we are introducing two new solutions for customers should their travel plans change.”
In addition to Air Canada’s regular goodwill policies, starting June 1 the carrier says it will offer customers the choice of a travel voucher with no expiry date that is fully transferable or to convert their booking into Aeroplan Miles and get an additional 65% bonus miles.
Both options are retroactive to March 1.
SUMMER 2020 SCHEDULE
Air Canada’s abridged schedule for summer 2020 offers 97 destinations, down from 220 last year:
. Within Canada, the schedule will increase from 34 routes in May to 58 routes in June, with more routes added in August and September.
. Air Canada has also updated its schedule until the end of July with resumption of some services to the U.S., Caribbean, South American, European and Pacific markets.
. In accordance with provisions for air travel to the U.S. for Canadians, Air Canada will resume service to the U.S. on May 22, with six destinations being served by May 25, including New York-LaGuardia, Washington-Dulles, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago. There are tentative plans to resume more U.S. service as of June 22, pending regulatory changes and demand.
. Internationally, Air Canada will continue to operate from its major hubs to key global destinations in June. This includes service from Toronto to Frankfurt, London, Zurich, Tokyo and Tel Aviv; from Montreal to Frankfurt, London, Paris and Brussels; and from Vancouver to London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Seoul.
. International services will expand further starting in June and early July, including: Montreal to Athens, Rome, Geneva; Toronto to Munich, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Rome and Athens; Calgary to Frankfurt; and, subject to government approval, Vancouver to Shanghai.
BOOKING & CANCELLATION POLICIES
Under Air Canada’s revised goodwill policy, new bookings made up to June 30, 2020 can be changed without fees for original travel between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.
In cases where Air Canada cancels flights due to COVID-19, customers with refundable tickets will continue to have the option of refunds. Since Jan. 1, 2020, Air Canada has refunded nearly $1 billion to customers.
Both customers with refundable and non-refundable tickets will have two new options to choose from:
. An Air Canada Travel Voucher for the remaining value of their ticket that has no expiry date, is fully transferable and retains any residual value, or;
. The ability to convert the remaining value of their ticket into Aeroplan Miles, with 65% more value versus the normal rate for buying Miles.
For voluntary changes, customers with refundable tickets will continue to have the option of refunds or the above new options. For Air Canada customers with non-refundable tickets making voluntary changes on tickets issued up to June 30, 2020, with an original travel date between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 inclusive, they have the option to choose from the two above new options of an Air Canada Travel Voucher or Aeroplan Miles.
The new goodwill policies and cancellation options are retroactive for customers with original travel between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.
Customers whose flights have been cancelled due to the impacts of COVID-19 and who have already received travel credit valid for 24 months, will be able to select one of the applicable options depending on their fare at aircanada.com beginning June 15, 2020.
Customers with Aeroplan Flight Rewards can continue to cancel their redemption bookings free of charge through June 30, 2020.
For more information on Air Canada’s pandemic response, including information about Air Canada ClearCare+ and its revised summer schedule and goodwill policies, see aircanada.com/