Air China will create the first direct transpacific link between Asia and Montréal when it launches non-stop service between Beijing and Québec’s largest city on September 29.
Fellow Star Alliance member Air Canada will codeshare on Air China’s Beijing-Montréal service, which the Chinese carrier will initially operate three times a week, using Boeing 777-300ER widebodies.
Air China’s schedule for its Bejing-Montréal service calls for flight CA879 to depart Beijing Capital International Airport (IATA code PEK) at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays from September 29 and, after crossing the International Dateline, to land at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL) at 1:50 p.m. the same day, local time.
In the other direction, return flight CA880 will leave YUL at 4:20 p.m. on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays from September 29 and, after re-crossing the International Dateline, arrive at PEK at 6:00 p.m. the following day, local time.
According to Air China, the new Beijing-Montréal service will allow the two Star Alliance carriers to offer convenient connections and seamless transfers for travelers to other cities in China, Canada and the United States via Air China’s hub in Beijing and Air Canada’s hub in Montréal.
Upon starting its new Beijing-Montréal route, Air China will place its ‘CA’ flight code on Air Canada flights between Montréal and select cities in Canada, subject to receiving government approval.
Also subject to receiving the requisite approvals from the Chinese and Canadian competition authorities, Air Canada and Air China intend subsequently to form a comprehensive revenue-sharing joint venture for all their flights between China and Canada.
This would ensure the long-term sustainability of the new Beijing-Montréal service, according to Air China.
Air China and Air Canada signed a memorandum of understanding in November 2014 in Beijing setting out the principles for an integrated revenue-sharing joint venture.
If they receive the required regulatory approvals, Air Canada and Air China plan to put their joint venture into effect in the second half of this year.
Currently, Air China operates up to 11 flights per week between Beijing and Vancouver. Air Canada operates up to a total of 28 flights per week between Canada and China, on routes from Toronto and Vancouver to and from Beijing and Shanghai.