National carrier, Air Canada has announced the addition of nonstop flights between Vancouver and Brisbane in Australia, the only direct link between the two cities.
The three-times-weekly link will be operated with Air Canada’s ultra modern Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, and the new service will cut travel time between the two cities by five hours.
Commencing on June 17, 2016, the new service will connect the Canadian city with the capital of Queensland, with the intention to increase to daily service, subject to obtaining the necessary government approvals.
"Air Canada continues to strategically expand its international network with the addition of our second Australian destination - Brisbane, capital of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. The new route increases our presence in the Asia-Pacific market at a time when trade and travel in the region and between North America is growing, with a further boost expected from the Trans-Pacific Partnership now under negotiation,” said Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada President and CEO.
The year-round flights will link Vancouver to the Australian financial hub, which is also the tourism gateway to Australia’s Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef.
“The operating economics of the Dreamliner together with the efforts of the Vancouver Airport Authority who have maintained airport operating costs at levels among the lowest in Canada, have enabled us to grow our Vancouver hub," added Mr Rovinescu.
Brisbane is the third new Pacific route the airline has announced in the past year, after Toronto – Tokyo Haneda and Vancouver – Osaka, and now commits $2 billion worth of aircraft to the Pacific market each day. The new flight will mark the first direct flight between Queensland and Canada and is expected to inject up to $24 million in visitor expenditure to Queensland’s economy, as well as attracting an extra 12,000 international visitors each year.
The new service is supported by the Queensland Government Attracting Investment Fund (AAIF) which aims to entice more North American travellers to the northeast Australian State.
“The new direct route better connects the state with the growing North American visitor market, which recorded a 9% growth in visitation in the year ending December 2014. Growing aviation services to Queensland helps support the state's tourism economy and creates jobs,” said Kate Jones, Queensland Government Minister for Tourism and Major Events.
The service is a milestone achievement for Brisbane Airport Corporation, with new international airlines and destinations being hugely competitive.
Julieanne Alroe, BAC CEO and Managing Director, said the new service will be great for Queensland travellers with Canada’s famously rugged and beautiful landscape now a direct flight away. “We’re thrilled to welcome Air Canada, one of North America’s leading airlines, which has committed its flagship aircraft to Queensland.”
Brisbane Airport has been in negotiations with Air Canada, Vancouver Airport, Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Australia for the past two years, and has said it is looking forward to working with Air Canada to make the service a success.
“Queensland has always been popular amongst our North American visitors and, with Canadian arrivals to the state up 12 per cent in 2014, we’re confident that there will be good uptake of the new service, which offers all-important direct connectivity,” said John O’Sullivan, Managing Director of Tourism Australia.
The new Air Canada service will expand Brisbane Airport's international network to 29 destinations in Asia, the Middle East, the South Pacific and North America.