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Air Canada and Air New Zealand to pursue joint venture

Star Alliance partners Air Canada and Air New Zealand have agreed to pursue a joint venture, subject to government approvals.

"A deeper, more integrated partnership will provide greater customer choice, comprehensive benefits and an expanded trans-Pacific network," says Air Canada on the memorandum of understanding with Air New Zealand to form a joint venture.

The two airlines have been codeshare and Star Alliance partners for more than 20 years. "We look forward to deepening our relationship and optimising our far-reaching trans-Pacific network co-operation, offering our customers a choice of more flights, connections and travel opportunities," says John MacLeod, Air Canada's vice-president, global sales and alliances.

Air Canada and Air New Zealand codeshare on more than 1,000 flights per week, according to Cirium schedules data.

The Canadian carrier today announced new seasonal service to Auckland, as well as Sao Paulo and Quito beginning in December, to cater to business travellers and winter vacationers.

It will offer flights to Auckland four times a week from Vancouver beginning 12 December until the end of March 2020, operating with Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

On 11 December, Air Canada will begin non-stop flights between Montreal and Sao Paulo with thrice weekly service until 27 March 2020, with 787-9s.

"Sao Paulo is the twelfth new international destination added by Air Canada from Montreal-Trudeau Airport since 2017, reinforcing further the commitment we have to develop Montreal as a strategic hub," says Air Canada vice-president of network planning Mark Galardo in a press release.

Low-cost airline Air Canada Rouge will also fly Boeing 767 aircraft non-stop three times weekly between Toronto and Quito, from 8 December to 11 May 2020.

“Our expansion in South America gives us an opportunity to efficiently deploy our aircraft during the winter months when southern destinations are more popular," Galardo says.

Separately, Air Canada will deploy 787 aircraft on seasonal service from Toronto to Honolulu beginning 14 December, with thrice weekly flights until 26 April 2020. Air Canada has 28 Boeing 787-9 aircraft in service in addition to one on order, and has eight 787-8 aircraft in service, according to Cirium Fleets Analyzer.

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