Air Canada: route to Doha, fight against trafficking in protected species

Par ediallo - 27 October, 2020 - 17:59

Air Canada is expected to launch a new route between Toronto and Doha, its second destination in the Gulf after Dubai, in December.

From 15 December 2020, subject to government authorisations - but with reservations already open online, the Canadian national airline will offer three flights a week between its base at Toronto-Pearson and Doha-Hamad International Airport, operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with a capacity of 30 passengers in Business class, 21 in Premium and 247 in Economy.

Departures are scheduled on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 20:10 and arrive the next day at 16:40; return flights will leave Qatar on Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 8:40 and land at 15:05 (average flight time 13:30).

Air Canada will have no competition on this route, Qatar Airways having inaugurated it last July before ending it a month later, keeping only the one to Montreal operated since June 2011.

The Star Alliance and Oneworld airlines have no commercial relationship, not even an interline agreement; the Canadian also serves Dubai in the region, and has done so since November 2015.

Air Canada also announced that it has obtained certification from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for the prevention of illegal wildlife trade.

Created last year, this certification "takes into account the 11 commitments of the United for Wildlife Buckingham Palace Declaration", signed in 2017 by Air France and others, and is issued to airlines engaged in the fight against illegal wildlife trade.

The airline stresses in a press release that "as a global carrier, Air Canada can play a leading role in preventing illegal wildlife trade and its devastating effects.

Despite the disruptions in 2020, Air Canada Cargo has designed and implemented "several controls and procedures to reduce the risk of illegal transportation of wildlife and illegal wildlife products.

"We are proud to be the first airline in North America to fully meet this industry standard through our concrete measures to combat illegal wildlife trafficking as part of the global effort to preserve wildlife and biodiversity," said CEO Calin Rovinescu in a statement.

Air Canada "remains committed to conducting its business in a sustainable, responsible and ethical manner. It is also committed to preventing wildlife trafficking and raising awareness of the problem and its consequences. We are committed to partnering with conservation organizations and other key stakeholders to better combat wildlife trafficking.

Illegal wildlife trade generates an estimated $7-23 billion in profits, and more than 7,000 species are trafficked each year. Some of the commitments included in the Buckingham Palace Declaration include the following:

  • Adopt a policy of zero tolerance for illegal wildlife trade.
  • Improving industry's ability to communicate information on illegal activities.
  • Encourage the widest possible membership of the transport sector.

François Duclos