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Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport welcomed a brand-new flight to Asia today, with the launch of Air Canada's new service to Shanghai, China.
The new flight, which provides more options for travellers originating from Quebec, Atlantic Canada and the eastern United States, is also Air Canada's first route from Montreal to use the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
"With the launch of Montreal-Shanghai non-stop service today, we are delighted to inaugurate Air Canada's first direct flights between Montreal and Asia, building on Air Canada's success in the rapidly growing Chinese market," said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.
"This also marks the introduction of Air Canada's first 787 Dreamliner service from Montreal featuring our industry-leading international product and further underlines our commitment to expand our global reach from Montreal-Trudeau reinforcing it as a strategic hub that offers easy and convenient connections from points throughout Quebec, Atlantic Canada and the United States. With an average elapsed time of over 13.5 hours, it is the longest flight ever operated by any carrier from Montréal-Trudeau airport."
Read more: Air Canada adds new firsts at Montreal Trudeau.
"China is Canada's second-largest trading partner and Air Canada is the first and only Canadian carrier to operate daily non-stop transpacific service between Montreal and the Asia," said Smith.
"Together with our Star Alliance partners, Air China and Shenzhen Airlines, and partner Juneyao Airlines, that serves more than 30 destinations in China, we are now offering the growing number of travellers between Montreal and China even more convenient travel options, With our recently announced Montreal-Tel Aviv, Montreal-Algiers and Montreal-Marseille flights, Air Canada has now increased its international capacity from Montreal by 168 per cent since 2009, with direct service to 13 cities in Europe, two in North Africa, one in the Middle-East and starting today, China."
The flight is expected to increase tourism from China to Montreal, which could bring big economic benefits to the province. Tourism from China to Quebec has tripled from 2010 to 2015. According to a study from Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, Chinese travellers are expected to spend a record $264 billion globally by 2019.
"Tourisme Montréal would like to congratulate Air Canada on this new air link, which is highly strategic for the development of Montréal's economy and tourism industry. This is one of the most promising announcements in the past 10 years. We will be working closely with our partners to ensure this new initiative is a major success for local tourism," said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.
"There is no doubt that this new daily route between Shanghai and Montreal will increase the number of Chinese tourists in Quebec, which has already almost tripled from 2010 to 2015. This bridge between the two continents will stimulate the growth of our commercial and tourist exchanges with China, which will, in turn, promote Quebec's economic expansion," said the Québec Minister of Tourism, Ms. Julie Boulet, who was on the inaugural flight as part of an economic mission to China.
"This inaugural flight represents a very significant investment by Air Canada and our partners, as well as an exceptional opportunity to strengthen the special relationship between the two metropolitan areas and our two countries. The tourist and economic benefits of these direct flight routes are concrete and show that Montreal is once again a hub of Canadian and North American aviation. I'm motivated to continue working with Air Canada and our partners to further develop the opportunities for new flight routes to Montreal," stated Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal before boarding the flight.
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