Air Canada Inaugurates Two New Long-Haul Boeing 787 Routes

Since Thursday, Air Canada has celebrated the inaugural flights of two new routes: Montreal to São Paulo (Brazil), and Vancouver to Auckland (New Zealand). Both services utilize the airline’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Both services are seasonal and will operate through to March 2020.

Air Canada Inaugurates Two New Long-Haul Boeing 787 Routes
Air Canada has a fleet of 37 Dreamliners. Photo: Air Canada

Montreal and São Paulo

Air Canada’s inaugural flight from Montreal to São Paulo, Brazil took place on December 11th. Flight AC96 arrived in São Paulo the following morning. The service is scheduled three times weekly until March 27, 2020. A number of VIPs were quoted in the airline’s press release – many of them highlighting the new opportunities for commerce and tourism that this new route will bring:

Brazil is Quebec’s largest trading partner in Latin America. This new direct flight to Sao Paulo, a major economic and industrial hub, will facilitate growth of Montreal’s businesses in this market, which offers significant commercial opportunities in key industry sectors such as advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and aerospace. The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal congratulates Air Canada for its leadership to enhance Montreal’s status as a global hub for air travel, and its commitment in the city’s international expansion,” – Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal.

Flight

Departs

Arrives

Days of Week

AC96

Montreal 18:35

São Paulo 06:30

+1 day

Wednesday, Friday, Sunday

AC97

São Paulo 08:40

Montreal 16:45

Monday, Thursday, Saturday

Flights will be operated by Air Canada’s flagship Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with a 298-seat configuration. The configuration offers 30 Air Canada Signature Class seats, 21 seats in Premium Economy and 247 seats in Economy Class.

An Air Canada Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
Montreal-Sao Pãolo will use the 787-9 while Vancouver-Auckland the smaller 787-8. Photo: Air Canada

Vancouver and Auckland

On the other side of Canada, on the same day AC96 arrived in São Paulo, flight AC51 had its inaugural journey from Vancouver to Auckland. This seasonal service will operate four times weekly until the end of March 2020.

“We’re proud of the contribution this new service will make to growing travel and trade between the two countries. The seamless connections Air Canada provides through its hub in Vancouver will further promote a growing market. In 2018 alone, Canadians choosing to holiday in New Zealand grew by 6.7 percent to 70,000 visitors. Similarly, New Zealand visitor numbers grew by an impressive 12 percent with 34,000 people visiting Canada during the same period,” –Scott Tasker, General Manager of Aeronautical Commercial at Auckland Airport.

Flight

Departs

Arrives

Days of Week

AC51

Vancouver (YVR) 23:45

Auckland (AKL) 11:05 + 2 days

Mon, Tue, Thur, Sat

AC52

Auckland (AKL) 14:30

Vancouver (YVR) 06:30

Mon, Wed, Thur, Sat

On this service, Air Canada will use the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner featuring 20 Signature Class lie-flat seats, 21 Premium Economy and 214 Economy Class seats.

Air Canada will actually be flying this route alongside its Star Alliance partner Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand also operates this route using a Boeing 787.

Conclusion

Routes like the ones above are made much more feasible with the range and fuel efficiency of the Boeing 787. The aircraft was meant to serve “long and skinny” routes: those with lower demand but are long distance. It’s great to see Air Canada diversifying its offerings – even if the service is just seasonal.

Are there any long distance city pairs you’d like to see Air Canada operate? Let us know in the comments!

Air Canada Inaugurates Two New Long-Haul Boeing 787 Routes
Air Canada is Canada’s largest airline. Photo: Air Canada
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