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July 18, 2024
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Emirates and Air Canada intend to establish a new codeshare partnership later this year. The partnership is the second for Emirates in Canada after the existing one with WestJet.

The two airlines say that the codeshare will offer enhanced consumer travel choices for Air Canada customers to travel to the United Arab Emirates and to destinations beyond Dubai”, while Emirates customers will also enjoy an enhanced travel experience when traveling to Toronto or to key destinations across the Air Canada network.”

In a media statement, Emirates President and CEO Sir Tim Clark describes the agreement as a “significant partnership that will enable our customers to access to even more destinations in Canada and the Americas, via our Toronto and US gateways. It also opens up many new route combinations for travelers across Emirates’ and Air Canada’s extensive networks in the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.”

Air Canada President and CEO Michael Rousseau said: “As we continue pursuing our strategy of expanding our global reach in response to growing opportunities in VFR markets (Visiting Friends and Relatives) that serve Canada’s large multicultural communities, we are very pleased to form a strategic partnership with Emirates, a highly respected flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates with a hub in the vibrant city of Dubai. This strategic agreement will create network synergies, and Air Canada customers will have additional, convenient options when traveling between Canada and the United Arab Emirates as well as destinations beyond Dubai.” 

The partnership is still in its initial stages and is subject to regulatory approval. The two airlines say that further details and specific codeshare routes will be announced once approval has been received.

Growing the North American footprint

The existing codeshare between Emirates and WestJet covers fifteen domestic routes in Canada, as well as from Calgary via Los Angeles, New York JFK, San Francisco, Seattle, and to and from Vancouver via Los Angeles. Also available are codeshare flights via Boston to and from Calgary and Toronto, plus London Gatwick to and from Calgary, Halifax, Toronto, and Vancouver.

The new one with Air Canada will expand Emirates’ footprint in Canada and North America, says Tim Clark: “We are pleased to partner with Air Canada, one of North America’s most established airlines and Canada’s flag carrier and we look forward to jointly progressing on various areas to provide even better customer flight choices and experiences.”

Emirates has codeshare agreements with twenty airlines, including flydubai, Qantas, Azul, TAP Portugal, Air Malta, Air Mauritius, GOL, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Jetstar Airways, Jetstar Asia, China Southern, Bangkok Airways, Copa Airlines, Korean Air, S7, South African Airways, Thai Airways, and WestJet.

The only other codeshare in North America except that with WestJet is the one with JetBlue. For many years, Emirates had partnerships with United Airlines/Continental and Delta Airlines, but these were terminated when the US Big Three airlines United, Delta, and American said that state aid to the three Middle East carriers Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways distorted competition. After the feud cooled down, Tim Clark said in 2020 that he hoped to re-establish partnerships with all three US majors, but so far, Emirates has been unsuccessful. Instead, American has opted for a partnership with Qatar.

Air Canada has codeshare partnerships with 35 airlines across the world. This includes one with Etihad Airways, the official national carrier of the UAE.

author avatar
Richard Schuurman
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016. Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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