Air Canada adds 2 new routes to United hubs, with more likely to come
Air Canada is launching two new transborder routes that will deepen the carrier's ties with United Airlines.
The routes, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) serve two of United's hubs and, in the case of the Vancouver-to-Houston flight, will complement United's service.
Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free biweekly Aviation newsletter.
United currently operates the Vancouver-Houston route — one that returned for the first time in the pandemic era this June as a summer seasonal flight. It runs through this month and is scheduled to resume in March, according to schedule data from Cirium, a company that provides aviation-related data and analytics.
Air Canada's daily flight, operated with an Airbus A220-300, begins Dec. 16 and will operate year-round.
Flight AC1300 departs YVR at 8:45 a.m. and arrives at IAH at 3:08 p.m., all times local. The return flight, AC1301, departs IAH at 4:30 p.m. and arrives at YVR at 7:15 p.m. The flight is timed for Air Canada connections in Vancouver and United connections in Houston, according to Cirium.
Halifax to Newark is a longtime United route that was suspended at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 and has yet to return to the Chicago-based carrier's schedule.
Air Canada will now operate the route with an Air Canada Express Q400 turboprop in an all-economy class configuration starting Dec. 16.
Flight AC8670 will depart Halifax at 11:45 a.m. and arrive in Newark at 1:04 p.m., all times local. The return flight, AC8669, will depart Newark at 1:45 p.m. and arrives in Halifax at 4:35 p.m. The flight is well-timed for United connections in EWR.
Air Canada last operated this route in 2003.
"With these new routes from Halifax and Vancouver, Air Canada is meeting demand in these important markets and building on our strengthened trans-border partnership with United Airlines to solidify our leadership in the Canada-U.S. market," Mark Galardo, senior vice president of network planning and revenue management at Air Canada, said in a statement.
More: Air Canada, United expand partnership with more codeshares, loyalty perks
Expect more routes like this to come. United and Air Canada are launching a transborder joint venture, subject to government approval. If approved, the two Star Alliance carriers will be allowed to coordinate on schedules, pricing and plan to harmonize some onboard offerings and frequent flyer program benefits.
Air Canada — and other Canadian carriers — have grown their transborder networks in recent months, as COVID-19 restrictions ease (Canada recently removed its remaining travel restrictions). With the new routes, Air Canada's U.S. network is 6% larger than it was in 2019.