MIAMI — Air Canada announced today that it plans to start flying daily nonstop flights from Montreal-Trudeau (YUL) to Shanghai (PVG), marking the air carrier’s first route to Asia from Montreal. The new service is scheduled to start on February 16, 2017.

The flight from Montreal will depart at 13:30 and arrive in Shanghai at 16:40 local time. The return flight to Canada will leave Shanghai at 18:15 and arrive at the gate at 18:40 in Montreal. The schedule will vary at start of the launch until March 25 when it will depart YUL at 13:15 and arrive to PVG at 15:30. The return flight will leave Shanghai at 17:05 and arrive at 18:40, all local times.

The new service will be flown on the airline’s Boeing 787-8s, which feature a 251-seat configuration (20 Business, 21 Premium Economy and 210 Economy.)

According to Air Canada, the flights are scheduled for optimized connections in Montreal to Eastern Canada and the United States, such as Ottawa, Quebec City, Halifax, New York LaGuardia, and Boston. On the other hand in Shanghai, Air China and Shenzhen Airlines, also Star Alliance partners, will offer excellent connectivity in domestic China cities including Chengdu, Chongqing and Shenzhen.

Further, Air Canada will announce an interline agreement in the next few weeks with Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines.

“Building on Air Canada’s success in the rapidly growing Chinese market we are delighted to announce Air Canada’s first direct flights between Montreal and China with the launch of Montreal-Shanghai service next year,” said Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada’s President and CEO.

“This also marks the introduction of Air Canada’s first 787 Dreamliner aircraft service from Montreal, further underlining our commitment to expand our global reach and reinforce Montreal-Trudeau as a strategic hub. With today’s announcement, Air Canada has increased its international capacity from Montreal by 133 per cent since 2009, with direct service to 13 cities in Europe, North Africa and China.” Rovinescu said.

“Aéroports de Montréal wishes to sincerely thank Air Canada, which has spared no effort to develop its international network out of our airport and to create jobs and economic spinoffs locally. The launch of this daily non-stop flight between Montreal and Shanghai is further proof of this,” said James Cherry, President and CEO, Aéroports de Montréal.

The new route is Air Canada’s third nonstop destination served from Shanghai. The airline already flies to Toronto-Pearson and Vancouver.

Air Canada and Air China, both members of Star Alliance, are currently negotiating a revenue sharing joint-venture (JV), which would provide an enhanced partnership between the two airlines on flights between Canada and China.

In May 2015, Air China was the first air carrier to announce non-stop service from the Asian continent to Montreal. Four months following the announcement, the flag carrier of China started three weekly flights between Beijing (PEK) and Montreal-Trudeau (YUL) using a 311-seat Boeing 777-300ER.