On yesterday, November 11th, after a one-year interruption caused by the pandemic, Air Canada again invited to the traditional “Thanksgiving Dinner”, the day before in Geneva and now also in the Zurich area – and was thus the first airline, or at least one of the first, which after long months without a live event again invited to physical get-togethers in Switzerland. That was very much appreciated: over 50 industry partners accepted the invitation to dinner in the Am Chappeli restaurant in Volketswil ZH; the day before in Geneva there were even 70 participants. There were representatives from tour operators, consolidators, partner airlines and from Zurich Airport – and of course Travelnews. After the mandatory certificate at the entrance, hands could be shaken again inside the restaurant, hugs and kisses exchanged and mask-free discussions. For many a happy reunion after long months of absence; of course there was a lot to talk about.
Of course, Air Canada also had something to tell. Host Mehdi Sentissi (Country Manager Switzerland, Morocco & Algeria, Air Canada) thanked the partners present for their stamina and loyalty to Air Canada and was able to report good demand since the Canadian borders opened on September 7, 2021. Since Air Canada is also often used for flights in the USA, this opening of the USA a few days ago is another important signal. That is why Sentissi – Fabio Bühlmann (Sales Account Executive, Air Canada), who is normally present in German-speaking Switzerland, unfortunately had to drop out due to an injury – also had good news in his luggage regarding flight frequencies.
Air Canada is currently flying from Zurich four times a week (Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat) after Toronto; A Boeing 787-900 (Dreamliner) in three-class configuration is used. This will also be maintained over the festive season. Between January 2 and 10, 2022 there will be temporarily six weekly flights (every day except Tuesday), but operated with a Boeing 777. From January 12 to March 3, there will then only be three flights a week (Wed, Fri. , So) flown, also with the Dreamliner. But from March 4, 2022, Air Canada will switch back to daily flights from Zurich to Toronto. There are also plans to resume seasonal flights from Zurich to in the summer (June 18 to October 11) Vancouver perform five times a week (Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun). From Geneva Air Canada currently flies there three times a week Montreal (Mon, Wed, Fri), with an Airbus A330; From January 2nd to the end of April this frequency will be expanded to five weekly flights (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun); from May 1st, five flights will continue, but on other days (Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun). According to Sentissi, the goal is to one day fly daily from Geneva again.
For a good Canada business, there is also an on-board arrangement; a taste of Canada in culinary form from Chef Frank Widmer – with whom Air Canada had already worked at an earlier event at the Park Hyatt – who served turkey, Caesar salad with salmon and fine Canadian desserts such as “Nanaimo Bars”. These could be picked up at buffets, there was free seating and an informal atmosphere, ideal for extended direct exchanges. Célia Gilomen (Kuoni Ticket Shop) went home as the happiest participant: As part of a raffle, you won a ticket for two people in Premium Economy for a flight of your choice to Canada or the USA with Air Canada.