Air Canada files to fly Los Angeles-Sydney non-stop

MONTREAL, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Air Canada today announced that as a result of new market opportunities presented by the recently expanded Open Skies Agreement for Canada and the United States, the airline will apply to Canadian and Australian authorities to commence daily Toronto- Los Angeles- Sydney service. Flights would commence during the first half of 2007 with the delivery of Air Canada’s new Boeing 777 fleet featuring industry- leading lie-flat suites in the Executive First cabin and personal entertainment systems at each customer’s seat throughout the aircraft. Air Canada already operates between the U.S. and Australia on its Vancouver- Honolulu-Sydney service using existing route authorities.

With an elapsed westbound time of 21 hours and 15 minutes, Air Canada’s Toronto-Sydney flights via Los Angeles would offer the fastest elapsed time of any airline from eastern Canada to Australia, shaving three and a half hours off current Air Canada routings and also offering one-stop service from all business markets across Canada. The daily flights would serve Canadian, American and Australian consumers as well as freight forwarders, seeking convenient and competitive air transportation between Canada and Australia, the United States and Australia, and Canada and the United States. Air Canada plans to work with its Star Alliance partners, Air New Zealand, United Airlines and US Airways, through schedule coordination and codeshare services to offer customers increased choice and convenience.

“The recently concluded Open Skies Agreement for Canada and the United States opens new opportunities for Air Canada to enhance service for consumers and business in Canada, the United States and international markets, such as Australia,” said Ben Smith, Vice President, Network Planning. “We look forward to working with Canadian and Australian authorities to derive maximum benefits for our customers in all three countries. Air Canada has long advocated the further liberalization of our shared skies so that we can better link our expanded North American network to our growing international network, and further capitalize on our cooperative agreements with our commercial partners. In addition to offering all our customers faster access to and from Australia, same plane service from our main hub in Toronto will raise the bar in premium in-flight comfort using our new 777 fleet.”

The Toronto-originating flights would be timed to offer convenient connection possibilities in Los Angeles to and from Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, as well as to and from points throughout the United States via Los Angeles on flights operated by Air Canada’s Star Alliance partners, United Airlines and US Airways.

An Open Skies Agreement for Canada and the United States was concluded November 10, 2005. The agreement comes into effect September 2006. In addition to providing for more choice and competitive pricing for consumers, the agreement allows for carriers of each country to carry passengers via the other country to third countries, referred to as “fifth freedom” rights, such as Air Canada proposing to serve Australia via the United States.

Air Canada operates more non-stop flights between Canada and the U.S. than any other airline. Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz and its commercial partners operate more than 385 non-stop flights per day on 79 routes to and from 50 U.S. and 6 Canadian destinations. Air Canada extends its network within the United States even further with its Star Alliance partners. In 2005, an independent survey of more than 12 million international air travelers ranked Air Canada as the Best Airline in North America.

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