Emirates and Etihad will both increase their three weekly frequencies to five under the new agreement that Canadian and UAE governments have signed. The previous one capped the number of flights between the two countries at six.
The new agreement allows 68% more capacity for the designated airlines and also maximum four weekly cargo flights.
Here’s an excerpt from Gulf Business (access their article here):
The airline said it would introduce two extra flights a week to Toronto from August 18 on Saturdays and Sundays after demand on the route outstripped supply, with passenger occupancy averaging 90 per cent.
Saturday flight EK241 will leave Dubai at 3:30am and arrive in Toronto at 9:30am before return flight EK242 departs at 2:25pm and arrives back in Dubai at 11:40am the next day. The Sunday flight will follow a similar timeline.
Both will be operated by an Airbus A380 with three classes, increasing capacity from Dubai to Toronto by 65 per cent.
Earlier on Monday, Etihad said it would add two flights a week to Toronto from October 28.
The relationship between these two governments has warmed up as of late and UAE nationals no longer need visa to visit Canada and Canadians are eligible for VOA in UAE.
Etihad is partnering with many Star Alliance airlines once the alliance decided that it no longer objects codeshares with the Abu Dhabi based airline. May have helped with the decision of raising the capacity between these two countries.
One may argue that the international fares out of Canada to Middle East, Asia and Africa have stayed at artificially high level because the number of flights operated by the ME3 have been capped at artificially low number due to protectionism.