Renowned airlines Air Canada and Air China have recently signed an agreement in Beijing, aimed at developing flight co-operation between the two airlines. Apparently, this deal was anticipated for a long time as discussions were already in progress for years.
Calin Rovinescu, chief executive officer of Air Canada, confirmed in a statement that they were in talks with Air China since 2014 regarding this agreement. He also termed this deal as an important strategy towards expanding the presence of Air Canada in the Asia-Pacific aviation market which, he believes, will become the world’s largest by 2022.
The joint venture between Air Canada and Air China is being flaunted as the first ever agreement of such a nature between the North American and Chinese airlines. As per records, they do have a long-standing association which was limited to code-sharing, an arrangement where one airline uses its designator code on the flights of the other. The new deal will present Air Canada with an opportunity to strengthen the existing partnership and provide increased access to domestic connecting flights in both countries. Sources informed that the venture will be implemented in phases over the next six months.
Air China eventually agreed for the joint venture after Air Canada complied with a notice that the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration had issued in April to airlines worldwide. Reportedly, the notice put forth the demand that airlines change their references to Taiwan, Macau and Hongkong to meet their requirements. For instance, China counts the self-governing Taiwan within its own territory and wants airlines to reflect the same on its booking websites, which Air Canada now does.
Further reports noted that the White house profoundly criticized China’s request, calling it a move by the Chinese Communist party to enforce its political opinions on American citizens and private companies.