Why the Direct Beijing-Montréal Flight is a Game Changer
Earlier this year, Air Canada and Air China made a major announcement that brought Montréal closer to Asia: a direct flight between Montréal and Beijing. Although currently operated by Air China, tickets will also be offered through Air Canada’s booking portal as the first step of a broader partnership. The inaugural flight takes to the skies on September 29 (2015).
The new route goes beyond simply providing more options for travellers. The local airport authority (formally known as Aéroports de Montréal) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Beijing Capital International Airport Co. Ltd. (BCIA) to establish of a “sister airport” partnership. With this agreement, the two airport authorities will strengthen co-operation and share best practices. Sounds like a win-win!
Beijing’le belle rock!
This new Montréal-Beijing route is great for a variety of factors. Here are five of our tops reasons why the route is a game changer.
Chinese tourist spending is beyond big. According to a report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, 174 million Chinese tourists will spend a record $264 billion by 2019. More than ever, Montréal will be recognized as a destination for accessible and direct tourism. That means huge economic potential for the city.
More Montréal meetings. A direct flight from China to Montréal will inevitably increase the likelihood of Chinese companies selecting our city as a strategic meeting destination. Montréal makes an ideal middle ground (geographically and politically) for international stakeholders from Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Opportunities for Montréal startups. Direct flights mean easier access, and easier access means more business opportunities. Companies in the city will be able to use the connection with Beijing as a gateway for all their activities in Asia. We’re curious to see how the new route will impact our already-booming startup scene — stay tuned!
Family ties. With over 100,000 Chinese Canadians living in the province of Québec, the direct route makes it easier than ever to connect with family and friends in China.
Weekends in Beijing. As of 2013, tourists from 45 countries (including Canada) are permitted a 72-hour visa-free stay in Beijing. A direct flight means Montréalers travelling for either business or leisure can literally take a three-day weekend in Beijing without the hassle of time-crunching layovers. That means less time in transit and more time on the ground for local experiences.
Photo via Creative Commons: Flickr user Matt_Weibo.