Air Canada announces 'major' Asia expansion

Air Canada has announced increased services to Asia. (Air Canada)

Air Canada has announced increased services to Asia. (Air Canada)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

Canada's flag carrier announced Thursday a "major international expansion" of flights to Asia starting mid-2013.

Air Canada said it will offer 11 daily departures on 14 widebody aircraft from Canadian cities to Asia, for a total of more than 43,000 seats a week. The company described it as "the most far-reaching international expansion of its schedule in its 75-year history."

The new flights will include non-stop trips between Toronto and Seoul and between Vancouver and Beijing, as well as an upgrade to daily service between Calgary and Tokyo.

Air Canada is also launching a new service to Istanbul, subject to government approval. Istanbul serves as a gateway to other destinations in Turkey, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Air Canada is the 15th largest commercial airline in the world, serving 33 million customers annually.

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