Air Canada announces summer schedule with nearly 100 destinations in Canada, U.S., and around the world

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      Earlier this month, Canada's largest air carrier promised a long list of safety measures to persuade travellers to get back on its planes.

      And today, Air Canada unveiled a list of nearly 100 destinations in its abridged summer schedule.

      Its aircraft are currently flying to New York–LaGuardia, Washington-Dulles, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago.

      The company is considering expanding U.S. air service on June 22 if demand increases and if it can obtain regulatory changes.

      This summer, Air Canada flights will also be available from Vancouver to the following international destinations: London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Seoul.

      In addition, Air Canada planes will be leaving Toronto to Frankfurt, London, Zurich, Tokyo, and Tel Aviv. And the airline will take passengers from Montreal to Frankfurt, London, Paris, and Brussels.  

      There are plans to add Athens, Rome, Geneva, Munich, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Rome, and Shanghai to Air Canada's list of destinations.

      "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," executive vice president and chief commercial officer Lucie Guillemette said in a news release. "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."

      Check out Air Canada's newest video, which was released on May 21.

      Safety measures added

      The summer schedule comes more than a week after Air Canada unveiled its "CleanCare+" biosecurity program to enhance customer confidence.

      At airports, this includes face coverings for customers and employees, preboarding infrared temperature checks, and frequent sanitization of kiosks.

      Inside the plane, cabins and bins are sanitized with an electrostatic sprayer and the airline has installed HEPA air-filtration systems.

      Once passengers are seated, they're given complimentary masks, gloves, bottled water, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes. And in economy class, the seats adjacent to travellers are being kept vacant.

      Earlier this month, Air Canada detailed its various safety measures.

      Flexible ticketing options added

      Anyone who books Air Canada flights until June 30 for travel until June 30, 2021, can make use of a one-time change waiver up to two hours before departure. 

      This can be converted into the value into Aeroplan Miles with 65 percent bonus mileage.

      Alternatively, the value of all tickets can be turned into a fully transferable Air Canada voucher with no expiration date.

      "Both options, retroactive to March 1, give customers greater confidence and flexibility to plan and book travel with Air Canada," Guillemette said.

      Last year, Air Canada was voted the best airline in North America in a Skytrax survey of almost 20 million air travellers.

      It was the third consecutive win for the Montreal-based company. And it came after Air Canada added complimentary sit-down meals crafted by Vancouver chef David Hawksworth in its signature suite.

      This year, Georgia Straight readers voted Hawksworth as the city's best chef for the second consecutive year in the Vancouver newspaper's annual Golden Plates Awards.

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