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Air Canada, United to Grow Trans-border Network

An Air Canada 737MAX. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Katie Bailey)

Air Canada and United Airlines have announced details of a proposed expansion of their transborder joint service agreement signed in July 2022. Though subject to applicable government and regulatory conditions, if approved the Star Alliance partners would operate more than 260 daily flights on over 80 transborder codeshare routes increasing summer capacity by 20 percent. According to the airlines ‘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.’

In addition to increased frequencies on existing routes, the agreement will add two new routes with non-stop flights between Washington-Dulles and Vancouver and Calgary, Canada. United Airlines will operate an Airbus A319 between Dulles and Calgary, and Air Canada will operate a Boeing 737 MAX 8 service between Dulles and Vancouver.

The coordinated scheduling of flights will result in up to 120 daily departures between the airlines’ hub markets. Under the proposal, a ‘shuttle style’ hourly schedule will operate between Toronto and Newark with 16 daily services. Similarly, 13 flights per day will operate between YYZ and Chicago and 11 daily flights between YVY and San Francisco.

Patrick Quayle, United Airlines’ Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances stated in a press release: “We’re proud of our continued work with Air Canada to provide customers with even greater transborder connectivity, including adding more flights and new direct service to Calgary and Vancouver from Washington Dulles. With schedules designed to give customers more flexibility with timing and more convenient connection options, as well as the ability to enjoy the benefits of both airlines’ loyalty programs, our agreement with Air Canada makes United the premier U.S. airline for travel to Canada.”

The Air Canada-United Airlines announcement follows a similar release detailing a domestic and transborder expansion by Air Canada’s main rival WestJet on February 13. The Calgary-based carrier will see increased services of up to nearly 30 percent in Calgary, 50 percent in Edmonton and 10 percent in Vancouver. A number of WestJet’s added services will be feeding into their alliance partner Delta Air Lines hubs across the U.S. including Atlanta, Minneapolis and Detroit.

John Flett


  • John Flett

    John has always had a passion for aviation and through a career with Air New Zealand has gained a strong understanding of aviation operations and the strategic nature of the industry. During his career with the airline, John held multiple leadership roles and was involved in projects such as the introduction of both the 777-200 and -300 type aircraft and the development of the IFE for the 777-300. He was also part of a small team who created and published the internal communications magazines for Air New Zealand’s pilots, cabin crew and ground staff balancing a mix of corporate and social content. John is educated to postgraduate level achieving a masters degree with Distinction in Airline and Airport Management. John is currently the course director of an undergraduate commercial pilot training programme at a leading London university. In addition he is contracted as an external instructor for IATA (International Air Transport Association) and a member of the Heathrow Community Fund’s ‘Communities for Tomorrow’ panel.

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