Details Of The New Air Canada & Cathay Pacific Partnership

Filed Under: Air Canada, Cathay Pacific

One trend we’ve seen among global airlines the past few years is that the major alliances have become less important, while individual partnerships and joint ventures have become much more important. As a result we haven’t seen much growth of the global alliances, while we have seen a lot of new partnerships.

Air Canada & Virgin Australia are partnering

Air Canada seems to be thinking outside the traditional alliances at the moment. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about their new codeshare partnership with Virgin Australia. The intent is that Virgin Australia is codesharing on select Air Canada flights within Canada, while Air Canada is codesharing on select Virgin Australia flights within the Pacific region. The partnership makes a lot of sense, given that right now Air Canada doesn’t really have a partner for passengers looking to connect beyond their Sydney and Brisbane hubs.


Air Canada & Cathay Pacific are partnering

Air Canada & Cathay Pacific have just announced a new codeshare agreement, which works in a very similar way to Air Canada’s new partnership with Virgin Australia. This new partnership applies for tickets booked as of January 12, 2017, and for travel as of January 19, 2017.

Through this partnership, Air Canada will be codesharing on eight Cathay Pacific routes within Asia:

Air Canada will offer codeshare services to an additional eight cities in Southeast Asia on flights operated by Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon connecting with Air Canada’s double daily service to Hong Kong from Toronto and Vancouver. Air Canada will place its code on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights to Manila, Cebu, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai.


Meanwhile Cathay Pacific will be codesharing on all major Air Canada routes within Canada:

Cathay Pacific customers will be able to book travel on Air Canada flights connecting with Cathay Pacific’s up to three daily flights to Vancouver and up to two daily services to Toronto from Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific will place its code on Air Canada flights to all major cities across Canada including Winnipeg, Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Halifax and St. Johns.

Air-Canada-Lounge-Vancouver - 44

The press release also states that members of both Aeroplan and Asia Miles will be able to earn and redeem miles on the above codeshare routes. Unfortunately I doubt we’ll see full reciprocity, but rather just Aeroplan members being able to earn and redeem miles on eight Cathay Pacific routes within Asia, and Asia Miles members being able to earn and redeem miles on Air Canada flights within Canada.

Bottom line

These new Air Canada partnerships make a lot of sense, especially in markets where they don’t currently have a lot of opportunities to provide passengers with connection opportunities. That’s very much the case for Air Canada right now in Hong Kong, Sydney, and Brisbane.

This should help Air Canada sell more tickets, though as a frequent flyer I wouldn’t get too excited. You’ll only be able to earn and redeem miles on a limited number of routes, and it doesn’t sound like there will be frequent flyer reciprocity in terms of lounge access, priority boarding, etc.

  1. I speculate this move is in response to Hong Kong airlines new daily services to Vancouver. Good news for Canadian frequent flyers with high frequency services and lower fares.

  2. @mike murphy this is strictly between CX and AC and oneworld isn’t involved. You can’t use AA miles for AC flights with a CX codeshare

  3. Shows CX is disappointed with WS’s Plus seat doubling as a premium offer on feeder routes in Canada for its J and F transPac customers and AC’s need of a non-stop onward carrier from HKG where STAR only offers such flights to Thailand (on Thai), Singapore (on SQ) and Taiwan (Eva). And particularly with the lack of a STAR partner in Australia since the long ago demise of Ansett. These are sensible commercial arrangements for both carriers who are being assaulted by the Gulf emirate threesome, and one shouldn’t read too much more into these arrangements and their limited FF tie-ins. (And, no, won’t see redeeming AA miles on AC flights or AE miles on seats in CX transPac premium cabins.)

  4. It wouldn’t surprise me if British Airwyas or Cathay partnered with Virgin Australia after Qantas abandoned them and got into bed with American and Emirates…

  5. It is nothing but only because of new competition into the HKG-YVR route. Hopefully they manage to drive away HX, but it is much much muchhhhh harder to do so now than how Cathay drove away Oasis back then! It also seems like they are not going to drive HX away for HKG-AKL…

  6. “It wouldn’t surprise me if British Airwyas or Cathay partnered with Virgin Australia after Qantas abandoned them and got into bed with American and Emirates…”

    Well American is a oneworld founding member so i’m not sure why Qantas “getting into bed” with them is such a horrible thing, seeing how british airways doesn’t compete with AA in literally a single market (they share revenue on basically all transatlantic flights).

    As for emirates, well it made a lot of sense for QF seeing how Dubai provides one-stop service to most of Europe while on British airways it would be at least 2 stops (flying to London then onwards to Europe). Why Cathay Pacific or British Airways would partner with a non-oneworld partner in Aus makes absolutely no business sense whatsoever.

    But that’s probably why you’re not running an airline is it.

  7. Tony, I know that it would never happen and the reasons for that, but I was just letting my mind wander because after Qantas “stabbed” BA in the back and “got in bed” with Emirates, British would have lost a large piece of the Kangaroo Route Pie because that was how you got to Europe, via Singapore on Qantas and BA and their market share was huge! (Granted, Qantas’s is still huge and BA still has planes on Sydneys runways) But now its faster and easier to go via the ME3 hubs and that is what a lot of people do.

    The above probably made no sense and I probably wondered off while writing it but what the heck. Im a “what if” kinda of person snd im ok with that.

  8. Oh yeah and about AA and Qantas, I said “got into bed” because AA is possibly Qantas’s most valuable partner because they never really have drama (looking at you Cathay) and the US is a huge destiy for us Aussies. I know Cathay provides feed in a larger market Asia but Qantas just isnt as tight-knit with them as they are with American (less partnership advertising, having its own lounge on top of the ridiculously large amount of OneWorld lounges in Hong Kong)

    Once again, probably made no sense, but im already in deep, may as well die fighting.

  9. This partnership actually comes after Cathay Pacific CEO Ivan Chu commented that they’re losing to Air Canada on the HKG-YVR route. CX deploys their 777-300ER with 275-340 seats, while AC deploys one with 400-450 seats, so he justified the need for CX to introduce 10-abreast 3-4-3 seating in all 777s. Since they are now code-sharing with AC, will CX eventually shelve-off their plan? Or perhaps only introduce 10-abreast seating on their regional 777-300s as well as the upcoming five second-hand 777-300s from Emirates in 2018?

  10. I would like to find out if the priority services such as check in, boarding and lounge access will be honored by Cathy Pacific with Air Canada partnership

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