Dubai: Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline both announced that both the UAE airlines will be adding flights to and from Toronto, following an agreement to increase air traffic capacity between the UAE and Canada.
Emirates and Etihad both said they will launch two additional flights on their service to Toronto. Emirates will add new flights from August 18 while Etihad’s additional services will start from October 28.
The additional flights bring the weekly service to and from Toronto to five times a week each for Emirates and Etihad, and come after years of back and forth talks between the UAE and Canada.
As per the deal, Etihad will continue to operate a Boeing 777 on the route, including on the additional flights, while Emirates will continue deploying an Airbus A380 on the route.
Etihad said in a statement that Toronto is “one the most successful and popular destinations” on its global route network, and that the move to increase frequencies has been “eagerly anticipated.”
Similarly, Emirates said passenger occupancy on the Toronto route has been “consistently full, averaging 90 per cent, with demand outstripping supply.” The increased frequency will add 65 per cent capacity to the market.
UAE-based airlines have long been vying for greater capacity to Canada as well as access to different cities besides Toronto, such as Vancouver.
Restrictions in bilateral air rights over the past years have been getting in the way of that, however, and even the latest deal between the two governments is only for capacity to Toronto.