05 December, 2023

Air Canada announces tie-up with European rail firms.

Providing convenient intermodal airport connections to France's SNCF Voyageurs, Germany's Deutsche Bahn, Swiss Federal Railways in Switzerland, or ÖBB in Austria when booking flights

The launch of the new intermodal offering puts thousands of exciting destinations within easy reach

Rail travel offers sustainable options to major European destinations

Leading Canadian legacy carrier, Air Canada has announced new air-to-rail booking options for customers to connect at European airports with four major passenger rail systems, making it convenient to explore the continent. Through new railway and distribution partnerships, Air Canada customers, when purchasing flights, can now also easily book onward rail trips to a multitude of destinations throughout France, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria to create a seamless travel itinerary.

"As a leading global airline, Air Canada excels at flying, but we also know intermodal connections can enrich the travel experience through added convenience and by promoting sustainability. In offering easy onward airport connections with the national rail systems in France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, we are creating intermodal hubs and opening the door for customers to reach stations at major cities and popular destinations throughout these countries. Moreover, by facilitating the use of rail for the short-haul segments of our customers' journeys, we can provide sustainable travel options when touring Europe," said Mark Galardo, Executive Vice President, Revenue and Network Planning, at Air Canada.

With the launch of Air Canada's European intermodal initiative, customers can now, while purchasing an Air Canada flight, at the same time book rail travel from European airports. Through the airline's partnership with Lufthansa Express Rail Product and new collaborations with AccesRail & WorldTicket, customers can use a streamlined booking process to create a seamless travel itinerary that connects their flight with trips on trains operated by France's TGV-SNCF Voyageurs, Germany's Deutsche Bahn, Swiss Federal Railways or ÖBB, the national railway of Austria.

For added convenience, customers can check in for all segments of their trip prior to departure, avoiding the need to obtain a train ticket at the station. As well, customers experiencing any flight disruption will have both their air and rail segments rebooked to provide peace of mind. 

Wing-to-Rail Connections

France: Sold under codeshare on SNCF Voyageurs, customers can purchase a single ticket that connects them at France's Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris to up to 22 SNCF Voyageurs high-speed rail destinations across France, including Nantes, Bordeaux, Marseille and Strasbourg.
Germany: Air Canada is building on its existing intermodal rail connections with Lufthansa Express Rail which provides access to up to 24 stations on Star Alliance intermodal partner Deutsche Bahn within Germany from Frankfurt airport. With today's announcement, customers now have expanded options to reach more than 5,600 railway stations across the country using Deutsche Bahn's Rail and Fly products from Frankfurt and Munich. As of August 2022, Deutsche Bahn became an Intermodal Partner of Star Alliance, the first non-airline partner of any of the major alliances., and Air Canada plans to launch codeshare on the German rail in 2024 via the Lufthansa express rail product, offering customers added benefits.
Switzerland: Customers flying to Zurich or Geneva on Air Canada can now connect at the airport to Swiss Federal Railways trains and reach up to 11 stations throughout Switzerland, including such popular destinations as Basel and Lucerne.
Austria: ÖBB services are now also available from Vienna airport to up to nine railway stations across Austria, including Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck.

Air Canada's partnership portfolio has doubled over the past decade with three joint business agreements, 39 codeshare, 120 interline and four intermodal rail options across the transport ecosystem to over 1200 destinations delivering an array of travel choices for customers.

Air Canada in Europe in Summer 2024

Air Canada has unveiled its expanded international summer 2024 flying schedule. The airline plans to operate 100 per cent of its peak summer 2019 trans-Atlantic capacity next year, taking full advantage of the robust recovery in its largest international market. With 53 routes to 31 cities in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India, Air Canada will be the leading Canadian carrier across the Atlantic in summer 2024. Air Canada's Toronto and Montreal hubs will respectively rank third and fifth largest in North America, in terms of average daily trans-Atlantic seats; the airline is committed to further developing both hubs' trans-Atlantic footprint in the coming years.