Connecting the dots

Letter from Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO: Connecting the dots

February 2019

Calin Rovinescu

Through innovations like the Air Canada App and streamlined baggage and customs screening, getting from A to B – and making your connecting flights in between – is easier than ever.

Valentine’s day is special at Air Canada because we like to play matchmaker, helping our customers make connections. But, as with affairs of the heart, it’s complicated, and we continuously work to refine the process.

Connecting traffic – customers whose routings involve two or more flights – accounts for approximately a third of our business. Smooth connections make flying easy for our customers. They also let us attract global travellers to fill flights we could not fill with point-to-point traffic alone, allowing us to offer more frequencies and destinations.

Simplifying connections is therefore crucial. This includes streamlining steps and leveraging technology such as the Air Canada App, which provides useful details about layovers and more. At our Toronto global hub, we offer the Star Alliance Connection Service to help customers on Star Alliance itineraries. We also partner with airports and government authorities to improve signage, baggage handling and security.

A prime focus is international traffic travelling from one country to another by connecting through Canada. Such traffic supports our global network and is increasing steadily, largely due to the ease of connections. Presently, customers transiting through Toronto or Vancouver need not pick up their bags, and can scan their passport at a kiosk rather than see a Canadian customs agent. This feature, coming to Montreal next, shaves about 25 minutes off connection times – a huge convenience when you are looking to get to your next flight.

We are also working with our partners on international-to-domestic connections. Our goal is to eliminate the requirement for passengers to collect their baggage for customs inspection at the air- port where they first land in Canada, only to have to recheck it for the flight to their final Canadian destination. Already, those arriving from the United States, U.K., European Union and Australia connecting onto domestic flights at Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal enjoy this double time-savings.

Ultimately, our aim is to be the first Canadian air- line on which no one needs to retrieve their baggage while connecting. We are two-thirds of the way to this goal, which will be fantastic for customers, help Air Canada grow and attract visitors to our country. What’s not to love about that?

Calin’s column appears every month in enRoute Magazine, Air Canada’s award-winning in-flight magazine found onboard all Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express flights. This edition is from the February 2019 issue.

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