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Air Canada and United Airlines strengthen their relationship

Air Canada and United Airlines are strengthening their relationship to make cross-border travel easier by providing more choice.

The expanded partnership will allow for more flights, better coordination of schedules and reciprocal privileges for members of the Aeroplan and MileagePlus loyalty programs.

Air Canada and United Airlines today announced a cross-border (Canada-U.S.) joint venture agreement that builds on their long-standing alliance and will provide more flight options and better schedules to customers traveling between the two countries. Customers will have access to 38 destinations served by codeshare flights in the United States, and eight of the most popular cities in Canada, while enjoying the privileges of the Aeroplan and MileagePlus® loyalty programs. The agreement will also strengthen and expand both carriers’ networks, and accelerate their post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery.

“United Airlines is a world-class carrier and we are pleased to significantly expand our already well-established partnership to further elevate the customer journey between Canada and the United States by providing more choice and convenience as well as a at the airport,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President – Network Planning and Revenue Management, Air Canada. This agreement marks a new stage in our evolving relationship that will drive post-pandemic recovery and strengthen both carriers. It will also allow us to optimize our hubs and schedules, in addition to extending the connectivity of our global network in order to maintain our market leadership. »

“This new agreement further strengthens our longstanding partnership with Air Canada,” said Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President, Global Network Planning and Alliances, United Airlines. The resumption of international travel is confirmed and our expanded partnership will provide an enhanced travel experience between Canada and the United States. »


Customers who wish to book seats on a flight between the United States and Canada through the Air Canada or United websites or apps will have access to more options and more convenient schedules. Codeshare between the two carriers will expand and members of the Aeroplan and MileagePlus programs will have more options for redeeming or accumulating miles.

By number of seats, the cross-border market between Canada and the United States was in 2019 the second largest in the world for international passenger transport and the largest international market for the two countries.

Air Canada and United Airlines are already cooperating in the cross-border market under the terms of the United States Antitrust Immunity between the two companies. Under the cross-border joint venture agreement, and subject to compliance with regulatory and antitrust requirements in Canada and the United States, the two carriers will be able to:

coordinate their networks and schedules, which will allow them to offer their customers more choice, including more flights during the day and better access to their respective seat stocks;
offer more cross-border codeshare flights, except for certain territories and leisure markets in the United States. The two carriers expect their customers to have access to 46 transborder destinations served by codeshare flights, with more than 400 daily flights in 2022. Other destinations served by domestic codeshare flights, both Canadian and Americans, could be added;

sell seats on the other carrier’s cross-border flights and share revenue for flights between their hubs (where regulatory and antitrust laws permit). This will allow both carriers to increase their overall capabilities;
align customer policies to ensure greater consistency and seamless delivery of products on board, implement co-locations at airports where appropriate, and add value to their loyalty programs respective;

work more closely together to achieve their sustainability goals.

This expanded partnership stems from the already close cooperation between the two carriers and the approval they have previously been granted by regulators. Air Canada and United Airlines are also founding members of the Star Alliance network and have entered into a transatlantic joint venture agreement with Lufthansa Group.

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