Emirates and Air Canada have signed a strategic partnership agreement that will allow passengers from both airlines to benefit from each other’s routes, as well as offer ease of access to new destinations.
The two airlines also plan to establish a codeshare alliance later this year, subject to regulatory approvals, Emirates said in a statement on Tuesday.
The move will offer Air Canada passengers greater choices to travel to the UAE and to destinations beyond Dubai. Emirates passengers will also have access to a wider network when travelling to key destinations across the Air Canada network, the statement said.
“This is a significant partnership that will enable our customers access to even more destinations in Canada and the Americas, via our Toronto and US gateways,” Emirates’ president Tim Clark said.
“It also opens up many new route combinations for travellers across Emirates’ and Air Canada’s extensive networks in the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.”
Aviation was among the industries hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with many major airlines around the world forced to cut back on existing routes and shelve plans for new destination launches.
Air Canada suspended flights to Dubai and several other international destinations in February last year owing to the pandemic, but resumed operations four months later as Covid-19 case numbers started to fall.
As part of the new partnership, Emirates, the world's biggest long-haul carrier, and Air Canada will establish reciprocal frequent flyer benefits and lounge access for qualifying customers, the statement said.
Passengers will also have the ability to book connecting travel between both airlines’ networks with a single ticket, with “seamless” connectivity at the carriers’ respective global hubs and baggage transfers to their final destinations, it said.
Further details of the partnership and specific codeshare routes between the two airlines will be announced when finalised, Emirates said.
“This strategic agreement will create network synergies and Air Canada customers will have additional, convenient options when travelling between Canada and the UAE as well as destinations beyond Dubai,” said Michael Rousseau, president and chief executive at Air Canada.
Earlier this month, Emirates, the largest operator of the A380 superjumbo, said it will operate more than 24,000 scheduled passenger flights to and from 129 airports around the world in July and August.
The Dubai-based airline will reach 100 per cent of its capacity by the end of the year, up from the 75 to 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels at which it is currently operating, its chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed said in May.
Emirates currently has codeshare agreements with several airlines.
Last month, it activated its codeshare partnership with Johannesburg-based Airlink. Under the partnership, passengers can use a single booking reference across eight domestic South African cities through the airline’s gateways in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.