Behind the scenes of Air Canada, it operates not only as a carrier to Canada, but also to the US with 24 non-stop destinations from Montreal and 41 from Toronto. This year’s three stops non-stop from Italy to Canada is a significant added value for Italians and from North America to Italy. In all of this, we talked about it Stefano Casarecola – Air Canada Regional Sales Manager for Italy, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus and Greece
Dr. Casarecola, How does Air Canada emerge from a global disaster like Covid-19?
Air Canada continues to slow flight scheduling following the effects of COVID-19 and plans to operate below its pre-pandemic capacity this summer while waiting for the entire industry to stabilize. We have been preparing for this summer’s travel wave for a long time, including coordination with our industry partners. To date, Air Canada has 90% of its pre-pandemic workforce and 80% of its June 2019 schedule.
Which markets have performed well and which markets are still struggling?
As travel restrictions ease around the world, people are willing to travel, and Air Canada has expanded its international and North American routes to meet and anticipate demand. With more capacities and frequencies than any Canadian carrier combined, Air Canada’s leadership and extensive network will help the recovery of the travel and tourism industry. Our recovery is strong and well underway. We continue to pursue our global network expansion strategy in response to peak demand, including emerging opportunities in VFR markets.
How much did the most recent elimination of entry buffers in the US play in terms of sales?
Based on increased demand, the loyalty of our customers and the planned removal of government travel restrictions, Air Canada expects to accelerate through 2022 and beyond.
How important is the Europe-to-US market for Air Canada in terms of sales?
Our services provide a vital link between Italy and Canada, as well as convenient and competitive connections to the United States, providing easy access for friends and family as well as tourists and business travelers. All this is very positive for both tourism and business in Italy
How many Canadians come to Italy on your flights?
We are proud to transport many Canadians to Italy and open up Canada and North America to our Italian customers with our flights departing from Rome, Milan and Venice.
How is the Italian market in general going towards Canada?
Italy is a well-known and appreciated destination and will continue to be an integral part of Air Canada’s global route network.
Who does better and who does worse in the three serving locations in Italy?
The importance of Italy in the Air Canada network is reinforced by the recent introduction of our year-round direct flight between Milan Malpensa and Montreal, operating up to five times a week. After arriving in Montreal the new flight continues to Toronto, offering our customers flying from Italy to Canada an even wider choice of travel options. The new flight joins our seasonal non-stop Air Canada flights from Rome Fiumicino to Toronto and Montreal and from Venice to Toronto and Montreal.
Business in Milan and leisure in Venice and Rome. Is that right?
Whether traveling for business or pleasure, there is a strong appeal for travel between Italy and Canada.
More individuals or groups in the world?
Business travel and groups continue to be an important part of Air Canada’s business mix.
2022 will be a good year for Italian tourism to Canada because it removed tampons before the U.S. How many travelers do you expect to bring to Italy in 2022?
Air Canada welcomes the Canadian government’s announcement to remove pre-departure screening requirements for fully vaccinated passengers entering Canada. This is great news for the travel and tourism industry as a whole. People have a strong desire to continue traveling and reconnect with their loved ones. Stopping pre-departure checks gives travelers more certainty and allows them to plan their next trip with added security and without the worry of incurring additional costs.
An Italian carrier that competes with you is not currently in the Italian market, but there are two other Canadian carriers, which sets you apart. What is your view?
We are proud to have been named North America’s Best Airline and Best Business Class in North America multiple times. We continue to offer our customers the ultimate in comfort, technology and innovation. We have strategically built a dense network that connects people across North America with our international networks through our Canadian hubs.
Air Canada Signature Class is an industry-leading premium travel experience featuring high-quality, sophisticated food and beverage service, priority check-in, security, priority boarding and baggage reclaim, a signature pod with fully reclining seats, a plush duvet, pillow and mattress cover, and 600 hours of entertainment and on-demand movies, TV and music. With its ample legroom and large seat, Premium Economy Class offers superior comfort and personalized service. Our Premium Economy cabin offers more legroom, wide reclining seats with complimentary meals, wines and spirits, and a personal touch-screen TV with on-demand entertainment, as well as priority boarding, check-in and baggage drop-off.
How many seats does Air Canada have in the US and how much does the star and stripe country from Italy weigh in sales?
By August 2022, Air Canada will serve 24 US destinations from Montreal and 41 US destinations from Toronto.
How much does cargo contribute to overall airline revenue?
Air Canada Cargo is an award-winning provider of air cargo services. As Air Canada’s dedicated cargo division, Air Canada Cargo provides reliable air cargo transportation with connections to hundreds of destinations on six continents using Air Canada’s domestic and international passenger aircraft, as well as cargo-only cargo and trucking services with a Boeing 767-300 fleet. Air Canada and Air Canada Cargo are committed to providing larger and more reliable capacity to the European market by continuing to expand our cargo fleet. This includes the recent announcement of the acquisition of two new 767-300 aircraft that will enter service in 2023.
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