On A Wing and Some Air

Air China announces Montreal to… Havana?

Air China announces Montreal to… Havana?

With restrictions being lifted between the United States and Cuba, airlines are revving up to start service between the two nations after over a 50 year hiatus. So, what do you think will be the cheapest way to get there?

Amazingly it won’t be from the U.S. – it will be from Canada – and it will be operated by Air China.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Air China will be adding a “tag on” flight from their Beijing-Montreal service. Starting in September, a few days of each week Air China will take the aircraft that operates between Beijing and Montreal and have the aircraft continue on to Havana, Cuba before returning back to Montreal and continuing home to China.

These routes are called 5th Freedom routes, when an airline wants to operate between two points but it is not a registered operated of the origin country. In a sense it allows an airline to operate a revenue generating flight between foreign countries as part of a continuing or connecting service to an onward destination. While it sounds more confusing than it is, it basically states that an airline can fly from it’s origin country (point A) to a foreign country (point B) and then pick up and drop off more passengers and continue to a 3rd country (point C). If you’re interested, you can see some examples of 5th Freedom airline rights, operating outside their countries here.

Screenshot 2015-12-21 at 16.34.06 - Edited

So, what’s the big deal with this. Well, Air China like and airline has realized that air planes don’t make money sitting on the ground doing nothing. So, rather than have it sit, they can fly it to another destination – in this case Cuba. So, just how much will a round trip on Air China between Montreal and Havana cost? Just $265 per person, CHEAPER than flying to Florida on Air Canada! It gets better, wanna go in style, how about a lay flat seat and all the wine and food you can shake a stick at? A business class ticket will only cost you $450! That’s cheaper than flying from Florida to NYC in steerage class!

So, where do you go to book? You can book directly through Air China, or you can do what we Savvy Stews do, and go to Google.com/Flights there you can input your destination and pull up the calendar and find the cheapest days between the two cities!

Happy Travels! See ya in Cuba!


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