The airline unveiled the intermodal proposition on Tuesday, December 5, leveraging an existing alliance with Lufthansa Express Rail and establishing new partnerships with AccesRail and WorldTicket to establish “a streamlined reservation process.” This seamlessly links flight reservations with rail expeditions managed by France’s TGV-SNCF Voyageurs, Germany’s Deutsche Bahn, Swiss Federal Railways, or Austria’s national railway, ÖBB.
This strategic move aligns with Air Canada’s aim to augment capacity to European destinations by summer 2024, targeting the operation of 100% of its peak summer 2019 transatlantic capacity in the coming year. Air Canada passengers now have the capability to reserve rail journeys “simultaneously” with their flights, affording access to the four principal rail systems at respective airports.
Furthermore, travelers can conduct check-ins for all segments of their journey before departure, eliminating the necessity to procure a train ticket at the station. The carrier ensures that in cases of flight delays or disruptions, both air and rail segments will be rebooked to offer passengers peace of mind.
Mark Galardo, Air Canada’s Executive Vice President of Revenue and Network Planning, stated:
“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.”
He emphasized that such intermodal connections contribute to an enhanced travel experience by offering added convenience and promoting sustainability.
In France, air-to-rail connections are accessible through codeshare on SNCF Voyageurs. Travelers can acquire a unified ticket linking Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport to as many as 22 high-speed rail destinations across the country. This includes cities like Nantes, Bordeaux, Marseille, and Strasbourg.
In Germany, Air Canada is expanding existing intermodal rail links with Lufthansa Express Rail, offering access to up to 24 stations on Star Alliance intermodal partner Deutsche Bahn from Frankfurt airports. Post-launch of the intermodal initiative, passengers can also utilize Deutsche Bahn’s Rail and Fly products from Frankfurt and Munich airports. Additionally, the carrier intends to introduce codeshare options via Lufthansa Express Rail in 2024.
In Switzerland, travelers bound for Zurich or Geneva can seamlessly connect to Swiss Federal Railways trains, reaching up to 11 stations. Meanwhile, in Austria, passengers at Vienna Airport can access up to nine railway stations through ÖBB services.