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Air Canada’s Bigger Planes Take Flight: Montreal-Cairo Route Resumes with 787-9 Aircraft

Air Canada

Air Canada has resumed its summer-seasonal service from Montreal to Cairo, one of three African destinations served by the airline from Montreal. This route was launched in 2021, 12 years after EgyptAir ended it, and has been primarily focused on the Egyptian diaspora in Montreal and connections over Montreal, with code-sharing between Air Canada and EgyptAir.

Air Canada operates three weekly flights on this route, with both the 255-seat Boeing 787-8 and the larger 298-seat 787-9 being deployed for the season. The 787-9, which has more business and economy seats than the smaller 787-8, will be the primary aircraft for this route, reducing seat-mile costs and improving performance.

Image by: Air Canada

Schedule and Passenger Data

The flight schedule for the Montreal-Cairo route is as follows: AC74 from Cairo to Montreal, departing at 17:30 and arriving at 10:55 the next day, and AC75 from Montreal to Cairo, departing at 12:40 and arriving at 16:50.

According to data from Cirium, Air Canada had 49,568 roundtrip Montreal-Cairo seats in 2022, achieving a seat load factor of 94%. About 56% of passengers flew to/from Cairo and transited through Montreal, while 35% flew point-to-point between Montreal and Cairo. The remaining passengers either transited through both airports or flew to/from Montreal and transited through Cairo.

Market Analysis

Booking data shows that the most popular market for passengers transiting through Montreal was to/from the United States, followed by travel across Canada. Among airport-level origins and destinations, Cairo over Montreal to/from Toronto was the leading market, despite EgyptAir’s daily non-stop flight. This suggests that it was cheaper for passengers to connect through Montreal with Air Canada than to pay the premium for a non-stop flight with EgyptAir.

Image by: Air Canada

Air Canada’s decision to deploy the larger 787-9 aircraft on the Montreal-Cairo route is expected to reduce the route’s operating costs and improve its performance. The airline’s focus on the Egyptian diaspora in Montreal and connectivity over Montreal and Cairo has proven successful, with strong seat load factors achieved in 2022. With the resumption of this route in 2023, Air Canada aims to further strengthen its presence in the African market.

Also, you might be interested in reading: EVA Air Expands Fleet with Five Additional Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners

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