By Vanni Gibertini
Air Canada Adds Routes to US On Heels of Covid Policy Changes
A few days after the Canadian government completely lifted all restrictions to international travel introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic, Air Canada announced two new transborder services that will link Canadian cities to hubs of their Star Alliance partner United Airlines.
Halifax Regains Access to New York City
Starting from mid-December, Air Canada will launch a four times weekly service between Halifax Stanfield Airport and Newark international airport. The service will increase to a daily frequency as of Jan. 8 and will be operated with a Bombardier Dash8-Q400 aircraft.
“Air Canada is very pleased to offer customers in Halifax and throughout the Atlantic Region a convenient new connection with New York. While the Big Apple is a popular leisure destination for people in Eastern Canada, it is also an important business market and this strengthened connection promises economic benefits, including increased tourism from the U.S. Beyond this, our partnership with United Airlines also provides easy onward connections to other U.S. centers from Newark through United’s extensive network,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President of Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada in a statement.
Halifax is one of the eight Canadian airports that is equipped with preclearance facilities, therefore passengers will be able to clear U.S. Customs and Immigration in Canada and arrive at a domestic gate in Newark without having to transit through International Arrivals where lines can be quite long, especially when several wide bodies arrive at the same time.
The Nova Scotia airport has been enjoying the preclearance facility since 2006, but after the interruption of flights during the COVID-19 pandemic only a handful of services to the U.S. have so far resumed, leaving the transborder terminal heavily underutilized. At the moment there are only a daily flight by Air Canada to Boston, a daily flight to Philadelphia operated by American Airlines and two other weekly services by Republic Airways on behalf of American Airlines to Boston and Washington National.
Adds Houston to Vancouver
Air Canada has also announced another new daily flight connecting Vancouver with the United Airlines hub at Houston Intercontinental Airport. The service will start on Dec. 16 and will be operated with an Airbus A220-300 aircraft in a two-class configuration with 12 business class and 125 economy seats.
This service will replace the daily flight currently operated by United Airlines on the same city pair that will be discontinued at the end of the summer season on Oct. 29. The connection will allow passengers to make use of the extensive network of destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean offered from the Texan airport by the Chicago-based carrier.