With its CleanCare+ biosecurity program and other pandemic responses fully activated, Air Canada has announced that its 2020 summer schedule will include flights to nearly 100 destinations in Canada, the United States and worldwide.
“Air Canada has put in place an abridged summer schedule offering a choice of nearly 100 destinations across Canada, in the U.S. and internationally. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, during which as much as 95 percent of our flights stopped operating and which has left us flying to less than half last year’s destinations, our customers are expressing their eagerness to travel, where it is safe to do so. We are accordingly gradually opening for sale flights for the summer and beyond as we rebuild our network, leveraging our strong position as a global airline. Air Canada is ready for take-off, and we look forward to welcoming our customers onboard,” says Lucie Guillemette, executive vice-president and chief commercial officer, Air Canada.
Due to COVID-19, Air Canada’s summer 2020 schedule will offer service to 97 destinations, down from 220 in summer 2019.
Within Canada, the schedule will increase from 34 routes in May to 58 routes in June, with more routes being added in August and September. The carrier has also updated its schedule until the end of July with resumption of some services to the U.S., Caribbean, South American, European and Pacific markets.
As part of the new schedule, in accordance with provisions for air travel to the U.S. for Canadians, Air Canada resumed service to the U.S. on May 22, with six destinations being served by May 25, including New York/LaGuardia, Washington-Dulles, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago. This is a reduction from 53 U.S. destinations served last year. There are tentative plans to resume more U.S. service as of June 22, pending regulatory changes and demand. Information on travel to the U.S. is available HERE.
Internationally, Air Canada will continue to operate from its major hubs to key global destinations in June. This includes service from Toronto to Frankfurt, London, Zurich, Tokyo and Tel Aviv; from Montreal to Frankfurt, London, Paris and Brussels; and from Vancouver to London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul.
International services will expand further starting in June and early July, including Montreal to Athens, Rome, Geneva; Toronto to Munich, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Rome and Athens; Calgary to Frankfurt; and, subject to approval, Vancouver to Shanghai.
Ready for takeoff
The Air Canada CleanCare+ Program, which was announced earlier this month, is designed to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 through such measures as mandatory pre-flight customer temperature checks in addition to required health questionnaires, seat assignment policies to allow for more personal space in Economy Class on all flights until June 30, 2020, and by providing all customers with care kits for hand cleaning and hygiene. These kits include a complimentary face mask, gloves, bottled water, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.
To supplement these individual measures, the program also strengthens the airline’s industry-leading cabin grooming standards (Air Canada received the 2019 Skytrax World Airline Award for Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in North America) with the introduction of electrostatic spraying of cabin interiors. It is also expanding its existing aircraft grooming procedures, which already incorporate the use of hospital grade disinfectant and specialized techniques to maintain cabin cleanliness across its fleet.
Other measures being taken by the airline include requiring customers and employees to wear face masks, with the latter having additional personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves available to them. It has also adapted its check-in procedures by making government entry requirements, the mandatory health questionnaire and other relevant information available on its self-serve web and mobile check-in and airport kiosk platforms.
Flexible booking and cancellation policies
Under a revised goodwill policy, new bookings made up to June 30, 2020 can be changed without fees for original travel between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.
In cases where Air Canada cancels flights due to COVID-19, customers with refundable tickets will continue to have the option of refunds. Since January 1, 2020, Air Canada has refunded nearly $1 billion to customers.
Information on the carrier’s goodwill policy and cancellation policies as well as its CleanCare+ program are available at aircanada.com/readyfortakeoff.