Air Canada partners with federal tourism agency plan to lure U.S. frequent fliers – National

Canada is making an attempt to make use of the lure of journey perks to persuade America’s frequent-flying elite to fly north on Air Canada, because the nation steps up efforts to revive essential site visitors from america, a Canadian official stated.

COVID-19 has battered journey from Canada’s largest tourism market. Throughout the first half of 2021, Canada had solely about 178,000 in a single day arrivals from america, in contrast with 6.8 million throughout the identical interval in 2019, in response to authorities knowledge.

To assist reverse that decline, authorities tourism physique Vacation spot Canada on Monday rolled out its first marketing campaign concentrating on U.S. frequent flyers, in partnership with the nation’s largest service.

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It’s a part of broader, C$14 million ($11.2 million) efforts by the tourism fee to spice up site visitors after Canada lately opened its borders to vaccinated vacationers. It’s not clear how a lot the precise frequent flyer marketing campaign will price.

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“That is super-focused when it comes to our skill to achieve frequent flyers,” Gloria Loree, Vacation spot Canada’s chief advertising and marketing officer informed Reuters, forward of the launch.

Beneath the plan, as much as 20,000 U.S. frequent flyers with carriers like American Airways, Southwest Airways Co and Delta Air Traces may get matching standing when flying Air Canada north of the border.

Delta declined to remark and American Airways didn’t instantly reply.

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Southwest, which doesn’t serve Canada instantly, stated by e mail that the federal government arm’s help contributes to the business’s collective efforts “to restart substantive air journey.”

Frequent-flyer standing provides vacationers perks like precedence boarding that might usually price a premium fare or a price.

Whereas status-matching is widespread amongst airways, Vacation spot Canada stated that is the primary time a tourism group has used the follow to draw vacationers to their nation.

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“That is the push to get them coming to Canada,” Loree stated.

Eligible U.S. frequent flyers who ebook and journey north on AC earlier than Jan. 15, 2022, will preserve their standing with the service for all of 2022, she stated.

Learn extra:
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It comes as nations ease restrictions on worldwide journey, with america set to reopen in November to vaccinated air vacationers from 33 nations.

Loree stated funding frequent-flyer standing matching isn’t any totally different from different incentives paid for by Vacation spot Canada, corresponding to a separate marketing campaign this yr with Air Canada’s rival, WestJet Airways.

Loree stated the purpose is to revive routes from america, whereas making an attempt to draw vacationers who will return to Canada.

In April, hard-hit Air Canada obtained an estimated C$5.9 billion ($4.7 billion) authorities help bundle with the nation gaining a stake of roughly 6% within the service.

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Whereas Canada’s excessive vaccination charge may reassure vacationers, the price of the nation’s COVID-19 PCR take a look at necessities for arrivals may dissuade some vacationers, stated Frederic Dimanche, director of the Ted Rogers Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Administration at Ryerson College.

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Loree stated concentrating on U.S. frequent flyers is a plus as a result of they’re largely accustomed to these necessities.

“They’ve found out the right way to journey,” Loree stated. “So we would like them to think about Canada as their subsequent journey.”

Air Canada shares closed up 3.48% in Toronto commerce.

(Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal. Extra reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh in Chicago Modifying by Denny Thomas, Lisa Shumaker and Matthew Lewis)

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