New announcement – Air Canada and Cathay Pacific partnership includes codeshare services and reciprocal mileage accrual and redemption benefits. The partnership is great news for travelers who can now look forward to an extended network with through-checked bags. However, the partnership does not cover the entire AC/Cathay network and is defined for specific markets only.

Air Canada and Cathay Pacific partnership

Air Canada and Cathay Pacific partnership

Air Canada and Cathay Pacific partnership

The partnership will see Air Canada expand its codeshare services (via Hong Kong) to four countries and 8 new cities;

  • Philippines (Manila and Cebu)
  • Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
  • Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi)
  • Thailand (Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai)

And Cathay Pacific will place its code on Air Canada flights and expand the  reach to several Canadian cities ( Winnipeg, Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Halifax and St. Johns). Tickets under this agreement will go on sale from January 12, 2017 for travel beginning January 19, 2017.

Cathay already offers direct flight service from Hong Kong to Vancouver (Twice daily) and Toronto (10 weekly flights). They operate Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to Vancouver and are all set to add the Airbus A350-900 aircraft service starting 28, March 2017!  Air Canada on the other hand, operates daily non-stop flights from both Toronto and Vancouver to Hong Kong, on Boeing 777 aircraft. 

These routes will now not only earn miles for AC and Cathay members, they will also be able to redeem them through Aeroplan and Asia Miles programs respectively.

The official media release for this partnership an be found here.

My Thoughts

Its great that Air Canada is aggressively expanding their network and enhancing services for its members. The Air Canada and Cathay partnership comes within a week of the Virgin Australia partnership (reciprocal benefits are still not final). The possibility of redeeming Aeroplan miles for Cathay flights, intrigues me the most. I have always looked towards Alaska Mileage plan for booking Business and First class service on Cathay. This partnership presents great opportunity for Aeroplan to enter the fray but it will be interesting to see if Cathay makes its first class seats available for Aeroplan redemption. If it does, that would be a setback to several Alaska members who will have to compete with a large Aeroplan membership for the limited Cathay First seats.