MONTREAL, Nov. 30, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada and Turkish Airlines are pleased to announce today a reciprocal code sharing agreement that will make it easy and convenient for customers to connect between the two Star Alliance partner airlines. The agreement, to take effect the beginning of the second quarter of 2013, will leverage Air Canada's planned Toronto- Istanbul route launching this summer pending receipt of government approval. "Air Canada is delighted by this code share agreement with our Star Alliance partner Turkish Airlines as it will ensure seamless connections on a single itinerary for our customers traveling beyond Istanbul throughout Turkey and to points in Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East. We look forward to welcoming aboard our aircraft Turkish Airlines customers who want to explore or do business in Canada through our extensive network," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada, who signed a letter of intent for the agreement at ceremony during a Star Alliance chief executive meeting in Shenzhen, China. "Customers on both airlines will receive the top-rated service and hospitality that is the hallmark of Star Alliance, the world's largest airline network, including the opportunity to collect and redeem frequent flyer mileage and access to lounges for eligible customers." "We are extremely delighted to sign the code share agreement with Air Canada, as this code share partnership serves as an example of Turkish Airlines' target to maximize the travel opportunities offered to passengers through the extensive networks of both airlines. This new code share agreement enables the customers to enjoy both the global network and the seamless service arising from the cooperation. We will have a chance to transfer our passengers to more US and Canadian domestic destinations via Toronto by connecting our networks," said Temel Kotil, Ph.D., President and CEO of Turkish Airlines. Under the code share agreement the two carriers will each place their flight designator code on select flights making it more convenient for travelers with such benefits as a single itinerary, through-checked bags and mutual status recognition. The agreement will include Air Canada's code on Turkish Airlines' Toronto- Istanbul flight and several destinations beyond Istanbul, not only in Turkey but also in the Middle East and Africa region. Turkish Airlines will also code share on Air Canada's new non-stop service between Toronto and Istanbul providing connections to domestic Canada and several points from Toronto to U.S destinations. Moreover, with the loyalty program, passengers will have the opportunity to earn and use miles both on Turkish Airlines and Air Canada flights. About Air Canada Air Canada intends to begin operating a year-round, three-times a week service between Toronto and Istanbul this summer pending government approval. Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 175 destinations on five continents. Canada's flag carrier is the 15th largest commercial airline in the world and in 2011 served more than 33 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 59 Canadian cities, 56 destinations in the United States and 63 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,356 destinations in 193 countries. In 2012, Air Canada was ranked Best International Airline in North America in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers conducted by independent research firm Skytrax. For more information visit aircanada.com, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook. About Turkish Airlines Established in 1933 with a fleet of only five airplanes, Star Alliance member, Turkish Airlines is today a four star airline with a fleet of 200 aircraft (passenger and cargo) flying to 207 cities around the world, comprised of 36 domestic and 171 international destinations. One of the fastest growing airline companies, Turkish Airlines has received several "Passengers Choice Awards" from the consumer ranking group, Skytrax. Based on 2011 and 2012 results, Turkish Airlines has been chosen as the winner of "Best Airline Europe", "Best Premium Economy Seats" for its Comfort Class seats and "Best Airline Southern Europe". It has also received awards for its catering and holds a coveted 4-star designation, putting the airline in a small group of top quality carriers. Turkish Airlines was also given the Skytrax designation of "World's Best Economy Class On-board Catering" in 2010, and Skyscanner's "Best On-board Food 2011". Long haul Business Class passengers also enjoy the Flying Chef service on-board.