Air Canada Will Bring Back Strong US Transborder Network

With the revelation that Canada is looking to reopen to fully vaccinated Americans without any quarantine, Air Canada is coming out strong and ready with added flights. The airline will operate up to 220 daily flights between the US and Canada across 55 routes and 34 destinations. Most of the routes will be back up and running in earnest by early August, and more will start come September.

Air Canada A321
Air Canada is expecting to fly a robust transborder network with Canada reopening. Photo: Air Canada

Air Canada’s transborder network is coming back

Air Canada has announced that it will be operating 55 transborder routes to 34 destinations in the US. This will bring the airline up to 220 daily flights between the US and Canada and follows the reopening of transborder travel from August 9th. Most routes will be operating by then with heavy frequencies, though some will come later.

This is huge for Air Canada. The carrier has a significant presence in the transborder market. Before the crisis hit, the US-Canada market was the second busiest international market.

Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto are the big winners in the returning transborder network. Out of Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL), Air Canada expects to operate the following routes:

  • Boston (BOS) with 14 frequencies per week
  • Chicago (ORD) with 21 frequencies per week
  • Denver (DEN) with seven frequencies per week
  • Newark (EWR) with 14 frequencies per week
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL) with seven frequencies per week
  • Houston (IAH) with seven frequencies per week
  • LaGuardia (LGA) with 21 frequencies per week
  • Las Vegas (LAS) with three frequencies per week starting on September 9th
  • Los Angeles (LAX) with seven frequencies per week
  • Orlando (MCO) with three frequencies per week
  • San Francisco (SFO) with seven frequencies per week
  • Washington-Dulles (IAD) with seven frequencies per week
  • Washington-National (DCA) with 14 frequencies per week starting on September 7th
Air Canada YUL Network
Air Canada’s transborder routes out of Montreal. Rendering created at Great Circle Mapper

Out of Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ), Air Canada plans to fly the following routes:

  • Atlanta (ATL) with 14 frequencies per week
  • Austin (AUS) with five frequencies per week starting on September 9th
  • Boston (BOS) with 21 frequencies per week
  • Charlotte (CLT) with seven frequencies per week starting on September 7th
  • Chicago (ORD) with 28 frequencies per week
  • Cincinnati (CVG) with seven frequencies per week starting on September 7th
  • Cleveland (CLE) with seven frequencies per week starting on August 1st
  • Columbus (CMH) with seven frequencies per week
  • Dallas (DFW) with 14 frequencies per week starting on September 7th
  • Denver (DEN) with 14 frequencies per week
  • Detroit (DTW) with seven frequencies per week
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL) with eight frequencies per week
  • Fort Myers (RSW) with two frequencies per week starting on August 1st
  • Los Angeles (LAX) with 21 frequencies per week
  • LaGuardia (LGA) with 35 frequencies per week
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) with seven frequencies per week starting on September 7th
  • Nashville (BNA) with four frequencies per week starting on August 30th
  • Newark (EWR) with 28 frequencies per week
  • Orlando (MCO) with five frequencies per week
  • Philadelphia (PHL) with seven frequencies per week
  • Phoenix (PHX) with three frequencies per week starting on August 2nd
  • Pittsburgh (PIT) with seven frequencies per week starting on August 1st
  • Raleigh-Durham (RDU) with 14 frequencies per week starting on September 7th
  • Seattle (SEA) with four frequencies per week starting on August 1st
  • San Francisco (SFO) with 14 frequencies per week
  • Tampa (TPA) with five frequencies per week
  • Washington-Dulles (IAD) with 21 frequencies per week
  • Washington-National (DCA) with 14 frequencies per week starting on September 7th
Air Canada Toronto Transborder
Air Canada’s transborder routes out of Toronto. Rendering created at Great Circle Mapper

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is also getting a healthy number of routes:

  • Chicago (ORD) with seven frequencies per week starting on September 7th
  • Denver (DEN) with 14 frequencies per week
  • Honolulu (HNL) with three frequencies per week from August 2nd
  • Las Vegas (LAS) with four frequencies per week starting on September 7th
  • Maui (OGG) with three frequencies per week from August 2rd
  • Newark (EWR) with seven frequencies per week from September 7th
  • Portland (PDX) with 14 frequencies per week
  • Phoenix (PHX) with five frequencies per week
  • San Diego (SAN) with seven frequencies per week from August 1st
  • San Francisco (SFO) with 21 frequencies per week
  • Seattle (SEA) with 14 frequencies per week

Lastly, there will also be three flights per week to Phoenix (PHX) from Calgary International Airport (YYC) starting from August 1st.

YVR AND YYC
Air Canada’s transborder routes out of Vancouver and Calgary. Rendering created at Great Circle Mapper

The routes will mainly see narrowbody Air Canada service from mainline or regional aircraft. However, some transborder flights will get a huge upgrade. Air Canada plans to offer some flights to Los Angeles from Toronto onboard widebody aircraft featuring a lie-flat business class product and premium economy cabins.

Passengers will also start to see service resume on transborder flights that are longer than two hours. Starting from early August, new economy class selections will be introduced, including products like vegan energy balls and other meal services. Inflight food offerings may vary by route.

Air Canada business class
Air Canada will put some premium lie-flats on select flights between Toronto and Los Angeles. Photo: Air Canada

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Coming back from essential services

This is a serious upgauge after Canada announced a reopening of nonessential travel from the United States. For much of 2021, the airline has been operating a skeleton schedule that targeted only essential travel between the two countries.

However, another factor started to come into Air Canada’s rebuilding of its US network. That one was connections. Air Canada has a large connecting hub in Toronto and sizable ones out of Montreal and Vancouver. Toronto, in particular, received most of the service to the US from Air Canada for the last year as a transatlantic connecting hub.

Air Canada 737 MAX
Air Canada will primarily be flying narrowbody jets to the US. Photo: Air Canada

As Europe reopened, Air Canada has benefited from selling connections for passengers from the US going to Europe. This includes travel to places like Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, and others. More connections are available to cities like Cairo, Doha, and India (once those flights reopen).

Canada’s reopening

The Canadian government announced on July 19th that it would be allowing a reopening of its borders for international travel. Starting on August 9th, Canada will allow the entry of American citizens and permanent residents residing in the United States. Those travelers, however, must be fully vaccinated. This means passengers must have received their final dose of a two-dose series or a single-shot vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for nonessential travel.

Air Canada
Some of Air Canada’s transborder routes will run on Air Canada Express regional jets. Photo: Air Canada

There will be no quarantine mandates for fully vaccinated travelers. Passengers will have to use the ArriveCAN app or web portal to submit travel information. Passengers will need to provide a quarantine plan if they test positive or do not meet the requirements for entry into Canada.

All travelers will need to submit a pre-entry molecular test result. However, fully vaccinated travelers will not need to post-arrival test unless they are randomly selected. Unvaccinated travelers still face mandatory testing requirements.

Are you going to fly Air Canada to Canada this summer or winter? Let us know in the comments!

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