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Aug 23, 2017

Air Canada's direct Montreal-Tokyo flights could boost Quebec economy

Airline stocks set to soar higher

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MONTREAL - Air Canada says it will introduce direct year-round service between Montreal and Tokyo which the business community and politicians expect will generate economic returns beyond tourism.

The country's largest airline will operate year-round service starting next June to Narita airport.

Airline CEO Calin Rovinescu says it expects to fill the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with local and Eastern Canadian passengers and Americans travelling through one of its three key Canadian hubs.

Air Canada (AC.TO) currently operates up to 46 weekly non-stop flights between Canada and Japan from Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. It says the Montreal direct flight represents a $200 million investment mainly for the use of the airplane that will create 150 direct jobs.

Montreal Board of Trade president Michel Leblanc says the flights will provide business opportunities for Quebec companies in artificial intelligence, gaming, clean technology and food.

Japan is Quebec's sixth largest market that purchased $1.3 billion worth of goods last year, said Deputy Premier Lise Theriault.