Air Canada to launch only daily non-stop service between Montréal and Houston, Texas



    MONTREAL, Aug. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today announced the expansion
of new U.S. transborder service from Montréal. Effective November 30, 2009,
Air Canada will offer the only daily non-stop year-round service to Houston,
Texas, hub of future Star Alliance partner Continental Airlines. Flights are
timed to allow connections to Continental's vast network across the Southern
United States, Mexico, Central and South America. In Montréal this new service
will offer convenient connections to Air Canada's network across Canada.
    "With addition of Montréal-Houston service, we are pleased to announce
the expansion of our transborder network the same day as operations begin at
Montréal-Trudeau's new U.S. departure hall," said Marcel Forget, Vice
President, Network Planning. "We expect our new Houston service to be popular
with business travellers as well as travellers seeking convenient access to
the vast array of Mexican, Central and South American destinations offered by
our future Star Alliance partner Continental Airlines."
    "With our brand new United States departures hall opening today, this
announcement is extremely timely and encouraging," said James C. Cherry,
President and CEO, Aéroports de Montréal. "The new Montréal-Houston service
fits in with Montréal-Trudeau's objective of becoming a more active hub in the
Americas."
    Air Canada flight AC7997 will depart Montréal at 09:00 arriving in
Houston at 11:55; and Air Canada flight AC7998 will depart Houston at 12:25
arriving back in Montréal at 16:40. Flights are operated by Air Canada Jazz
onboard 75-seat CRJ-705 aircraft offering a choice of Executive or Economy
Class service, featuring individual seatback entertainment throughout the
aircraft.
    With the addition of Montréal-Houston service, Air Canada serves 17 U.S.
destinations with non-stop flights from Montréal.

    Montréal-based Air Canada provides scheduled and charter air
transportation for passengers and cargo to more than 170 destinations on five
continents. Canada's flag carrier is the 13th largest commercial airline in
the world and serves 33 million customers annually. Air Canada is a founding
member of Star Alliance, providing the world's most comprehensive air
transportation network for Canadian domestic, transborder and international
travel. Air Canada aircraft offer customers individualized seatback in-flight
entertainment systems with hundreds of hours of digital audio-visual
entertainment. Further details and a virtual tour of Air Canada's new cabin
amenities, including personal seatback entertainment at every seat, are
available at:
http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/onboard/cabincomfort.html. As well,
customers can collect Aeroplan miles for future rewards through Canada's
leading loyalty program.
    In 2008, the readers of Business Traveler magazine voted Air Canada "Best
In-Flight Services in North America," "Best Airline for Business Class Service
in North America" and "Best North American Airline for International Travel."

    
    Backgrounder:

    AIR CANADA AT MONTREAL-TRUDEAU AIRPORT
    

    Montréal-Trudeau Airport (YUL) is a strategic hub for Air Canada
connecting its Québec and Atlantic Canada domestic network, its U.S.
transborder routes and as an international gateway for Air Canada's services
to and from the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe.
    Air Canada provides service in both of Canada's official languages. As a
fully bilingual operation, YUL plays a special role in connecting Canada with
many French-speaking communities in the world, known as la francophonie, with
service to points throughout Québec and New Brunswick among other, as well as
to and from France (Paris CDG), Switzerland (Geneva), Martinique, Guadeloupe
and Haiti.
    On August 19, 2009, Montréal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
inaugurated a new sector for transborder departures to the United States,
completing the terminal's transformation which began in 2000. The new U.S.
transborder facilities are larger and more customer-friendly, and provide
travellers with a smoother, faster check-in and security clearance experience.
The new two-storey facility is located adjacent to the existing transborder
jetty.

    
    By the numbers - Air Canada at Montréal-Trudeau Airport
    -------------------------------------------------------

    - YUL is Air Canada's third largest hub.
    - Air Canada served more than three million customers at YUL in 2008
    - Air Canada, together with its regional affiliate Jazz, operates more
      than 48,000 flights to/from YUL and 60 destinations (including seasonal
      routes and Air Canada Vacations destinations): 20 destinations in
      Canada, 16 in the United States, 19 in the Caribbean and Mexico, and to
      five European gateways.
    - Air Canada has three Maple Leaf Lounges at YUL:
        - A newly renovated Domestic Maple Leaf Lounge
          Seating capacity of 160; more than 220,000 annual visits in 2008
        - A Transborder Maple Leaf Lounge opened in February 2004
          Seating capacity of 80; more than 75,000 annual visits in 2008
        - An International Maple Leaf Lounge opened in December 2005
          Seating capacity of 110; more than 85,000 annual visits in 2008

    Air Canada's U.S. transborder service at Montréal-Trudeau Airport:
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    - Air Canada serves more destinations in the United States from YUL than
      any other carrier, accounting for about 40 per cent of total scheduled
      carriers' U.S. departures and seats at YUL.
    - Air Canada together with Jazz operates non-stop service to 16
      destinations in the U.S. and will introduce non-stop service to Houston
      on November 30, 2009 for a total of 17 U.S. cities served directly from
      YUL.
    - Air Canada flies non-stop to the most popular U.S. destinations from
      YUL: New York City (LGA), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO),
      Chicago (ORD), Las Vegas (LAS), Orlando (MCO) and Fort Lauderdale
      (FLL).
    - In addition, Air Canada is the only carrier in YUL to fly non-stop to
      Boston (BOS), Denver (DEN), Tampa (TPA), Hartford (BDL), and Washington
      D.C. (DCA)

    Simpler baggage formalities for U.S. flights:
    ---------------------------------------------

    - A new baggage drop-off service located just behind the check-in area is
      now available for passengers travelling to the U.S. It allows customers
      to drop their checked bags off before proceeding to security clearance
      and U.S. customs
    - International and domestic passengers connecting to U.S. flights no
      longer need to pick up their bags before passing through security and
      U.S. customs

    More efficient baggage system:
    ------------------------------

    YUL's new transborder facility uses a state-of-the-art baggage system,
with greatly improved baggage handling capability.

        - Baggage handling capacity has more than tripled from 400 items per
          hour to 1,400 items per hour
        - A new baggage reconciliation system features new bag scanning and
          boarding pass scanning technology. The new scanning technology
          tracks the location of passengers and their bags, improving
          operational efficiency.

    What else is new at Montréal-Trudeau airport's transborder facilities:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    - The U.S. departures facility has nearly doubled in size from 9,300 to
      18,100 m2.
    - Security checkpoints have doubled from 6 to 12
    - Check-in positions increased from 28 to 48, with Air Canada's positions
      increasing from 12 to 14.
    - U.S. Customs counters increase from 20 to 29
    - A duty free shop, a MEXX outlet and a Houston's Bar and Grill are among
      the many new shops and restaurants.
    - A new 272-room Marriott Hotel connected directly to the airport
      terminal provides visitors to YUL with more choice in accommodations,
      spa and meeting room facilities.

                                                                 August 2009
    




For further information:

For further information: Isabelle Arthur (Montréal), (514) 422-5788;
Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto), (416) 263-5576; Angela Mah (Vancouver) (604)
270-5741; aircanada.com


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