Air Canada and United Airlines announce a new trans-border agreement

Air Canada (Montreal) and United Continental Holdings, Inc. (Chicago) today announced that the airlines have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) setting out the principles for a comprehensive revenue-sharing joint venture that would provide for an enhanced partnership on United States-Canada transborder flights, and generate substantial service and pricing benefits for consumers traveling between the two countries. On October 1, 2010, United Continental Holdings, Inc. announced the closing of the merger of United Air Lines and Continental Airlines, combining the carriers’ global networks to create the world’s leading airline which will operate under the name United Airlines.

The Canada-U.S. market is one of the largest air transportation markets in the world. Air Canada’s transborder network to 59 U.S. cities will be strengthened by United’s presence in 210 U.S. airports. Similarly, United’s transborder network to 16 Canadian cities will be strengthened by Air Canada’s network serving 59 communities across Canada.

The joint venture is expected to come into effect in early 2011, subject to Air Canada and United Airlines making the necessary filings, obtaining regulatory approvals and finalizing documentation. The carriers already benefit from anti-trust immunity granted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).