Star Alliance member, Air Canada will utilise its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet to further expand its network offering from Toronto to Seoul, South Korea. As the airline this week debuts its new routes from the Canadian city to Delhi, India and Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), it has confirmed it will launch a daily service to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport from June 17, 2016.
The new route, flown using a 251-seat 787-8, the smaller variant in Air Canada’s Dreamliner fleet, will complement the carrier’s existing link to Seoul from Vancouver and will provide additional connection opportunities throughout Canada and its Americas network to/from the South Korean capital as well as onward connections through fellow Star Alliance member, Asiana Airlines from Seoul to and from points throughout Asia, including Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.
"The introduction of non-stop flights between our main Toronto hub and Seoul further strengthens Air Canada's presence in the growing Asian market," said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines, Air Canada. "This new route will provide some of the fastest travel times for customers travelling to and from South Korea and Eastern Canada, the US Northeast and South America via our main hub in Toronto.
The arrival of additional Dreamliner aircraft has enabled Air Canada to grow its long-haul network directly with the modern generation airliner, while also redeploying older aircraft assets into its Air Canada rouge leisure division to bring further new routes. The airline will have a fleet of 21 aircraft by 2016 (it has 37 on order) and is accelerating the conversion of existing routes to Dreamliner service from Toronto to Asia, Europe and South America.
In addition to the new Toronto - Delhi and Dubai routes operated with Boeing 787-9s from this month, Toronto – Istanbul will be converted to Boeing Dreamliner service effective May 2016, joining Toronto – Copenhagen, Zurich, Tel Aviv, Tokyo Narita (summer) and select Toronto and Vancouver flights to London Heathrow as well as Vancouver Tokyo-Narita, Seoul and Brisbane. Air Canada will also begin operating its international flights from Calgary to Tokyo Narita, London-Heathrow and Frankfurt with Boeing 787 aircraft beginning in 2016.
Since 2009, Air Canada has increased its system-wide international capacity, measured by seats, by approximately 50 per cent. This year, Air Canada launched new international services from Montreal to Venice and Mexico City, Vancouver to Osaka, and Toronto to Amsterdam. It has also announced new service beginning in 2016 to Prague, Budapest, Warsaw, Glasgow and London-Gatwick from Toronto; Brisbane from Vancouver, and Lyon and Casablanca from Montreal.
It will also in summer 2016 introduce a second daily rotation on its route between Vancouver and London Heathrow, the only airline to serve the route with two daily flights, while its new three times weekly 787-8 link between Vancouver and Brisbane will now launch on June 1, 2016, two weeks earlier than first planned to meet strong advanced sales.
“Air Canada is reinforcing Vancouver as an important hub, connecting our B.C., Western Canada and US routes with our South Pacific, Asian and European network,” said Smith. “We are strategically increasing our international flights at Vancouver with a second daily flight to London Heathrow next summer in response to seasonal travel demand," said Smith.
The new second daily seasonal Vancouver – London Heathrow flight will be flown using a 298-seat 787-9 from June 1, 2016 through to September 30, 2016 and will complement the existing daily rotation flown by the larger 450-seat 777-300ER.