Business

Air Canada launching daily flights to Shanghai from Montreal next February

MONTREAL — Air Canada is launching daily service to Shanghai from Montreal in February, giving travellers another direct route to China from Quebec.

Airline partner Air China last year began three flights a week to Beijing from the province.

Montreal-based Air Canada (TSX:AC) already offers direct flights to Shanghai from Toronto and Vancouver.

The airline says the new service announced Friday during the visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will create about 200 new jobs.

Flights to China's financial capital will carry 251 passengers aboard Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. At 14 and a half hours, it will be the longest flight offered by Air Canada from Montreal.

Afternoon departures are expected to attract U.S. passengers from Boston and Eastern Canada, which will help to fill the aircraft, said airline CEO Calin Rovinescu.

He says the new route is being added following lengthy negotiations to obtain optimal landing slots.

The number of Chinese visitors to Quebec has increased by an average of nearly 23 per cent annually since 2010.

Nearly 62,000 Chinese tourists visited the province last year, up 15 per cent from 2014. Almost 84,000 visitors are expected to arrive in 2016.