Air Canada boosts Brisbane-Vancouver service to daily

Air Canada Boeing 787-8. (Air Canada)

Air Canada will launch its new Brisbane-Vancouver flights as a daily service when flights begin next June, rather than the three times a week frequency planned when the flights were first announced in July this year.

Air Canada president for passenger airlines Benjamin Smith said on Monday the Boeing 787-8 flights will operate daily starting June 17 2016 after a positive customer response to the new service.

“This expanded service also underscores Vancouver airport’s importance and attractiveness,” Smith said in a statement.

“The seamless connections made possible for visitors by its in-transit pre-clearance facilities, combined with our extensive domestic and US network radiating from Vancouver, position Vancouver to be the preferred gateway hub for trans-Pacific travel to and from North America.”

The 251-seat 787-8s that will be used to serve Brisbane from Air Canada’s Vancouver hub features 20 business class, 21 premium economy and 210 economy class seats.

Flight AC35 is scheduled to depart Vancouver at 2345, arriving in Brisbane at 0715 two days later. The reciprocal AC36 is timed to depart Brisbane at 1040 and land in Vancouver at 0715 the same day.

Brisbane will be Air Canada’s second Australian port as the airline also flies daily to Sydney using either Boeing 777-200LRs or, during peak seasons, the larger 777-300ER.

The Australian and Canadian governments recently signed an expanded air services agreement that lifts the available capacity for carriers of both nations to 9,000 seats a week by the end of 2016.

Air Canada is the only airline offering year-round nonstop flights from Australia to Canada. Qantas has a seasonal service between Sydney and Vancouver during the peak winter and summer seasons.

Brisbane Airport chief executive Julieanne Alroe welcomed the Air Canada move to begin the flights as a daily service, describing it as a “clear indication of the strength of Queensland’s attractions and a sign of Air Canada’s confidence in the market”.

“Corporate and business ties between Queensland and Canada have never been stronger and a new branch of the Canada-Australia Chamber of Commerce being recently established in Brisbane is testament to this strength,” Alroe said in a statement.

“Clearly, Canada-Australia business ties are of increasing significance with our two economies sharing many major industries, like mining, agriculture and tourism, but complementing each other by operating opposing growing and tourist seasons.”