Air Canada is increasing its footprint in the Southwest Pacific, boosting frequencies into Sydney (SYD) and resuming flights to its former destinations of Brisbane (BNE) and Auckland (AKL). The changes will take effect over the course of the year, with Australia's biggest city the first to see the benefits - Air Canada is going daily into that city from May 1.

Air Canada is heading back to Brisbane & Auckland later this year

Both Brisbane and Auckland lost their Air Canada flights in 2020. Brisbane will see its four times a week Air Canada flights from Vancouver (YVR) resume on July 1. Auckland Airport will start hosting three times a week flights from Vancouver from November 12. Both airports are keen for former airline customers to return. Brisbane has lost 12 of its 32 international airlines since the pandemic's start. Auckland has lost 16 of the 29 international airlines serving its airport since 2020.

"Air Canada is solidifying its market-leading position as the airline providing the most services between Canada and the South Pacific. We are accelerating the restoration of our Australian and New Zealand routes to respond to pent-up travel between our countries as borders reopen," said Air Canada's Mark Galardo.

From May 1, Air Canada's five-day-a-week service from Vancouver to Sydney will upgrade to daily services. AC33 will depart Vancouver at 23:15 for the 15 and a half hour trek down to Sydney, arriving there at 07:45 two days later. The return flight, AC34, leaves Sydney at 09:30 and lands in Vancouver at 07:10 on the same day. Air Canada will use a Boeing 777-200LR jet on their YVR - SYD run. The big Boeing seats 300 passengers, including 234 passengers in economy class in a 3-4-3 layout, 24 passengers in premium economy in a 2-4-2 layout, and 40 passengers in open suites with a 1-2-1 layout in business class.

Air Canada will operate a Boeing 777-200LR on its Vancouver - Sydney route. Photo: Air Canada

Four times a week Air Canada flights to Brisbane from July 1

The first flight back to Brisbane from Vancouver will depart YVR at 22:55 every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. AC35 crosses the international dateline and that initial flight will land in Brisbane at 06:35 on July 3. After three and a half hours on the ground, AC36 will push back from the gate at Brisbane Airport at 10:15 every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Owing to the magic of the dateline, that flight lands in Vancouver at 06:50 on the same day.

"Air Canada's direct flights to Vancouver will help re-establish critical trade and tourism links between North America and Queensland," a Brisbane Airport statement says. "The year-round service will operate four times per week with a 298-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The service brings over 60,000 new seats annually into Queensland."


Air Canada's Dreamliners heading back to Auckland in November

Across the Tasman, Auckland Airport will see Air Canada return in November. AC39 will first push back at Vancouver at 22:45 on November 10 and thereafter fly every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The 14-hour plus flight lands in AKL two days later at 10:05. The return flight, AC40, leaves Auckland at 14:30 every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday from November 12, landing in YVR at 06:30 on the same day.

Air Canada will also send its Boeing 787-9 down to Auckland. Fractionally smaller than the 777-200LR servicing Sydney, the Dreamliner seats 298 passengers, including 247 passengers in economy class in a 3-3-3 layout, 21 passengers in premium economy in a 2-3-2 layout, and 30 lucky passengers in lie-flat seats in business class enjoying a 1-2-1 layout.

"Our restored South Pacific flights and vast North American network will support local tourism and hospitality sectors," adds Mark Galardo. "Customers can start planning ahead and book with confidence. We look forward to welcoming you onboard our airline."

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