Air Canada customers connecting to the U.S. through Toronto now benefit from fully-automated baggage handling

Streamlined connections strengthen Toronto as preferred routing for U.S. travellers

MONTREAL, March 26, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada is becoming an even more attractive option for travellers connecting to the U.S. due to a simplified baggage handling process at its Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport hub. The new system sends checked baggage to connecting flights so connecting customers no longer have to retrieve their checked bags for U.S. customs inspection.

"Air Canada's Toronto Pearson hub is already recognized as a North American gateway and this simplified baggage process makes it even more attractive. It strengthens Toronto's position as a preferred routing by making transit through Pearson easier for customers who are increasingly choosing to travel our international network because it offers some of the best elapsed travel times between the U.S. and other global centres in Europe and Asia," said Ben Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada. "Air Canada has earned Skytrax ratings as North America's Best International Airline and its only Four Star international network carrier. These accomplishments, combined with other attributes such as dedicated Transborder and International Maple Leaf Lounges at Pearson featuring concierge service, our lie flat Executive First suites on board our wide-body fleet, and now this new Toronto baggage process, are all reasons why Air Canada is the best option for travel to and from North America."

Air Canada at Toronto Pearson

Air Canada has been developing its Toronto Pearson hub as an international connection point for travellers between the U.S. and international destinations. The number of Air Canada international passengers connecting through Toronto Pearson has increased by more than 160 per cent since 2009. Air Canada operates up to 355 departures each day from Pearson to 124 destinations with approximately 50 per cent of its customers making connections through Toronto. On peak days, more than 62,000 Air Canada customers arrive and depart from Toronto Pearson. Air Canada, along with its Air Canada Express regional affiliates, offers up to 148 scheduled flights each day to 51 U.S. destinations from its hub in Toronto.

Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 175 destinations on five continents.  Canada's flag carrier is the 15th largest commercial airline in the world and in 2012 served close to 35 million customers.  Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 59 Canadian cities, 55 destinations in the United States and 64 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,329 destinations in 194 countries.  Air Canada rewards its most loyal customers through its top tier recognition program, Altitude, that offers frequent flyers a range of priority travel services, lounge access and upgrades to Executive Class, complementing their membership in Aeroplan, Canada's premier loyalty program, which provides numerous ways to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles with over 150 travel and retail partners. For more information on Air Canada visit, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook.


For further information:

Isabelle Arthur (Montréal)  514 422-5788
Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto)  416 263-5576
Angela Mah (Vancouver)  604 270-5741

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