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France-Canada travel market gets boost with partnership between Air Canada, Corsairfly and Nouvelles Frontières

    PARIS and MONTREAL, Dec. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada and Corsairfly
today announced a commercial partnership that will strategically strengthen
their respective positions in the travel market between France and Canada. The
commercial partnership provides for reciprocal codesharing on each carrier's
France-Canada flights, streamlined access to Air Canada's network for
Corsairfly customers, and enhanced presence in the French market for Air
Canada as a preferred carrier through the Nouvelles Frontières Group that owns
France's largest travel agency network. It is estimated that approximately one
million passengers travel each year between the two countries.
    "The France-Canada travel market is historically one of the most
important between Europe and North America. Together with Air Canada, we are
poised to see healthy growth well into the future," said Hervé Pierret,
Corsairfly President and CEO at a joint press conference today in Paris with
Air Canada. "We are particularly pleased to announce new non-stop service to
Quebec City, as the Quebec capital prepares to celebrate its 400th
anniversary. Our new direct service to Halifax, Nova Scotia will provide our
customers with convenient onward connections with Air Canada to discover
Canada's entire Atlantic region, just one of the benefits provided by this
partnership."
    Corsairfly will introduce twice-weekly Paris Orly-Quebec City seasonal
service beginning June 7, 2008. In addition, the carrier will introduce Paris
Orly-Halifax, Nova Scotia weekly service effective June 25, 2008 during the
busy summer holiday season for travel to and from Canada's Atlantic region.
The new services to Quebec City and Halifax, operated using Corsairfly Airbus
A330-200 aircraft, will complement its Paris-Montreal non-stop flights, also
operated during the summer travel season.
    Air Canada will sell seats on the new Quebec City-Paris and Halifax-Paris
routes on a codeshare basis. Similarly, Corsairfly will sell seats on a
codeshare basis on Air Canada-operated year-round non-stop flights from Paris
Charles-de-Gaulle, up to twice daily to Montreal, and daily to the Canadian
carrier's main hub in Toronto. Implementation of the new routes and
codesharing is subject to receipt of government approvals.
    In addition, Corsairfly customers will be able to book connecting flights
to all points throughout Air Canada's extensive domestic Canada and global
network consisting of 67 Canadian cities, 53 destinations across the United
States and 56 overseas destinations including the Caribbean, Mexico and South
America. Corsairfly customers will benefit from seamless ticketing, check-in
and baggage check-through on all Corsairfly connections to Air Canada-operated
flights.
    "This partnership with Corsairfly and Nouvelles Frontières will
strategically strengthen each of our companies' positions in the important
France-Canada travel market that Air Canada has been dedicated to serving for
over half a century of our 70-year history," said Yves Dufresne, Air Canada's
Vice President, International and Regulatory Affairs, in Paris today for the
announcement. "Today's announcement follows Air Canada's recent launch of
Boeing 777 service on our year-round daily Montreal service as well as the
introduction of industry-leading amenities such as lie-flat beds in business
class suites on all our international flights. In partnership with Corsairfly
and Nouvelles Frontières, we are able to offer our customers an even broader
range of choice, while at the same time significantly enhancing distribution
in France of our products as we continue to innovate."
    The agreement provides Air Canada with a stronger presence in the French
market as a designated "preferred carrier" through France's largest travel
agency network and travel distribution leader, the Nouvelles Frontières Group.
This comes as the carrier implements its new business plan that focuses on new
aircraft, new in-flight product, convenient airport facilities and a host of
web-based technology innovations such as online and mobile check-in, self
service kiosks and simplified fares.
    Air Canada is currently renewing its international fleet with brand new
Boeing 777 aircraft, operated daily on Montreal-Paris Charles de Gaulle since
September 2007, and it is renewing its North American fleet with spacious new
Embraer aircraft. In addition, the carrier is refurbishing its existing narrow
and wide body fleets with industry-leading cabin amenities such as all-new
seats, personal seat back entertainment for all customers, and is the first
North American carrier to offer true lie-flat beds in international business
class, with Executive First Suites that offer first class space and comfort at
business class prices.
    With the opening in 2007 of new connection facilities for international
passengers at its main hub in Toronto, Air Canada has consolidated all flights
under one roof, to offer customers unparalleled convenience to connect to
points throughout Canada, the United States, and its entire international
network including the Caribbean, Mexico, South America, Europe and Asia,
without changing terminals. Similar airport improvements have opened recently
in Montreal and Vancouver, all designed to simplify the travel experience.
    All U.S.-bound travelers also benefit from the convenience of going
through U.S. Customs prior to boarding their U.S-transborder flight in Canada,
and arriving in the U.S. pre-cleared without further formalities.

    About Corsairfly
    ----------------

    Paris-based Corsairfly, a subsidiary of the Nouvelles Frontières Group,
provides air transportation services for passengers and cargo to 35 long haul
destinations, mainly in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean. Corsairfly started
scheduled services to Montreal in 2001 on a seasonal basis. In 2007, the
airline carried over 100,000 passengers on the Paris Montreal route.
Corsairfly is part of the TUI airline group, which includes eight airlines
operating a total of 166 aircraft.

    About Nouvelles Frontières Group
    --------------------------------

    A subsidiary of TUI Travel PLC, Nouvelles Frontières Group is the largest
French tourism group. Its scope of services include tour operating, retail
through240 travel agencies, and airline activities. The 3,150 employees
generate annual sales of 1,162 billion euros.(*) ((*)Data 2006).

    About Air Canada
    ----------------

    Montreal-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 14th largest commercial airline in
the world and serves 32 million customers annually with a fleet consisting of
335 aircraft. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, providing the
world's most comprehensive air transportation network. In 2007, Air Canada was
ranked as the "Best Airline in North America" for the second time in three
years in a independent passenger survey of 14 million air travellers conducted
by Skytrax. In addition, Air Canada was recently voted 'Best Airline in North
America' and 'Best Airline in Canada' by the readers of Global Traveler
magazine, and 'Best Business Class to Canada' by the readers of Business
Traveler magazine.

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