Air Canada’s Winter Sun Additions Include Vancouver-Miami Return

Warm weather leisure routes launching this winter include the resumption of Vancouver-Miami flights, last operated by the carrier almost two decades ago.

Credit: Air Canada

Air Canada is to restore nonstop service between Vancouver (YVR) and Miami (MIA) this winter after an absence of more than 18 years.

The airline plans to launch a seasonal route between the destinations from Dec. 17, offering three flights per week using Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser reveals that the schedule will remain in place until April 30, 2023.

The Vancouver-Miami market has been unserved on a nonstop basis since Air Canada ended operations on the sector in April 2004. US Transportation Department statistics show the Star Alliance member opened the 4,501 km (2,797 mi.) route in July 2001, offering flights during the winter months.

Prior to that, American Airlines served the airport pair between May 1996 and February 1997, carrying an average of 4,850 passengers per month.

Despite the absence of nonstop service between Vancouver and Miami, O&D traffic between the cities totaled some 47,068 two-way passengers in 2019, according to Sabre Market Intelligence figures. Toronto (YYZ) and Dallas-Fort Worth (DWF) were the largest connecting markets, accounting for 26.5% and 25.8% respectively of all one-stop traffic.

In addition, O&D traffic between Vancouver and Fort Lauderdale, located about 45 km away from Miami, amounted to some 49,164 two-way passengers in 2019. The market was unserved for the majority of the year although Air Transat launched Airbus A321neo flights in December 2019, operating them until the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

On the YVR-MIA route, Air Canada will largely be targeting outbound leisure passengers from Vancouver seeking a warm weather winter vacation.

Other sun routes being added to Air Canada’s network during the forthcoming winter 2022/23 season include two services to Cuba from Quebec (YQB) and two from Montreal to destinations in the US and the Caribbean.

From Quebec, OAG data shows that the airline plans to serve Cayo Coco (CCC) and Varadero (VRA) once a week using Airbus A319s. Both routes will start on Dec. 19 and run until April 10, 2023.

Air Canada will compete on YQB-VRA with Air Transat, which is scheduled to serve the sector twice a week from Nov. 3 using A321s and A321neos. However, the airline will be the sole provider of YQB-CCC flights.

From Montreal, Air Canada is launching service to New Orleans (MSY) on Oct. 30. Flights will be 3X-weekly onboard CRJ 900s, providing competition for Air Transat’s 2X-weekly A321 operations. Air Canada will also open a 1X-weekly route from YUL to Antigua (ANU) on Dec. 23 using A319s.