Officials from Montreal Trudeau International airport are hoping to offer direct flights to Beijing as early as next year.
Aeroports de Montreal Director of Airline Development Luce Bureau believes the route is "quite viable in our mind because the demand is there". She tells ATI at the World Route Development Forum in Vancouver that Canada's approved destination status by China could also help accelerate the introduction of the route.
Nonstop service to South America is also a priority for Montreal, says Bureau, who hopes that a new landing fee reduction incentive programme will attract new air service to the airport. Carriers introducing a new year-round market will have a 100% reduction in fees during the first year of service.
She's also encouraged by meetings scheduled next week during the ICAO General Assembly in Montreal between the Canadian governments and officials from Algeria and Turkey, and hopes the meetings lead to an increase in air service in those markets.
Citing a growing Algerian community in Montreal, Bureau explains the limit on two flights per week between Canada and Algeria creates challenges in the summer high season. Bureau also believes an expansion in flights from Canada to Turkey is necessary. Current agreements limit flights to three per week, all of which are operated from Toronto.
Montreal's passenger growth is expected rise 5 percent above the 12.4 million customers travelling through the airport in 2009, Bureau expects flights to the USA to comprise the bulk of that growth.