Air Canada boosts Sydney, Brisbane flights

The Star Alliance airline and Virgin Australia partner gets its skates on for the northern ski season.

By David Flynn, April 18 2023
Air Canada boosts Sydney, Brisbane flights

Air Canada’s distinctive maple leaf livery is set to become an increasingly familiar sight on Australia’s east coast, with the carrier boosting its Sydney-Vancouver and Brisbane-Vancouver flights in time for the northern winter ski season.

Across December 2023-January 2024 the daily Sydney-Vancouver flight which departs at 12 noon will be joined by a 4pm departure three days each week. This extra flight will reach Vancouver at 11.30am, which is well suited to connecting to an onwards flight or heading straight into the city and checking into your hotel.

More seats will be added to Brisbane-Vancouver, which steps up from a Boeing 787-9 to a Boeing 777-300ER in November – a move which pleasingly puts more business class beds and premium economy recliners into the sky – and adopts a daily schedule from December to March.

Air Canada's flagship Signature Class.
Air Canada's flagship Signature Class.

Both the Sydney and Brisbane flights feature Air Canada’s spacious Signature Class lie-flat business suites, and during the 14-hour journey travellers will be treated to meals designed by  Vancouver-based chef David Hawksworth and Montreal-based chef Jérôme Ferrer, with matching wines chosen leading Canadian sommelier Véronique Rivest.

This Smoked Trout Niçoise salad is one of the dishes business class flyers can look forward to.
This Smoked Trout Niçoise salad is one of the dishes business class flyers can look forward to.

Business class passengers and those with top-tier frequent flyer status can begin their journey in Sydney and Brisbane from the lounges of Star Alliance partner Air New Zealand, and later relax in Air Canada’s Signature Suite Lounge at Vancouver International Airport on the return.

Air Canada's Signature Suite lounge at Vancouver.
Air Canada's Signature Suite lounge at Vancouver.

If you’re not in Sydney or Brisbane, Air Canada’s partnership with Virgin Australia offers easy domestic connections, with Velocity members able to earn Velocity Points and status credits and redeem ther points on eligible Air Canada flights between Australia and Vancouver and beyond – although the more you travel with Air Canadathe more appealing its Aeroplan rewards program will be.

And while Vancouver remains a superb destination in its own right, it's also the gateway to the ski, snow and mountain sports mecca of Whistler along with the Alaska cruise circuit, including Glacier Bay and the 'Inside Passage' coastal route.

Air Canada is also positioning itself as a hassle-free way to the US due to what it describes as a “seamless transit process.”

Vic Naughton, Air Canada’s General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, believes Vancouver “is now firmly established among Australian travellers as the friendliest and most efficient gateway to North America.”

“That is hardly surprising given Air Canada passengers proceed to their connecting flights without needing to re-check their bags or change terminals,” with US-bound travellers passing through US customs and immigration at Vancouver so they arrive in the USA as domestic passengers.

“That’s how Air Canada is able to once again offer the fastest service between Brisbane and New York, as well as other US cities like Seattle,” Naughton adds.


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 903

Hopefully, the reward seating in business for Velocity / Star Alliance members improves with the number of seats available in the future. I've been keeping an eye on this with most airlines deleting their flights to Vancouver hopefully Air Canada picks up the slack.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2017

Total posts 30

It seems everyone now is going to Vancouver.    What I'd love to see are dedicated flights going to Toronto from Australia, even if it is a one-stop, due to aircraft limitations.     Why not travel Sydney to Toronto, with a stop at Tahiti, or something like that.   Not Hawaii though, because the HNL to YYZ would be classed as a North American domestic sector, and the cabin service standard would drop significantly.    Going to Toronto via Vancouver is no solution.   It is a BIG HASSLE.   I've done it twice, and never again.    You get stuck at Vancouver airport with clunky time consuming immigration processing and full of hassle, only to find your Vancouver to Toronto service is a domestic one, with domestic standards of cabin service.

Air Canada - Aeroplan

28 Feb 2015

Total posts 93

I'm not sure how long you mean by "stuck" in Vancouver, but AC34 (777-200ER) continues with a different flight number 90 minutes after landing. In previous years YVR was indeed a hassle because one had to go through security again, but this no longer applies. You do have to go through immigration, but that's it, and then you get back on the plane you just got off (at gate 50, 51 or 52). Same building. Or there are other flights to YYZ or YUL on international class aircraft (ie, Signature Business) later in the day. There is also a non-stop flight at 0830 (no Canadian immigration processing required, only American) non-stop to EWR, arriving 1644, though it's a 737-Max.

HNL/YYZ is an international sector

25 Jun 2018

Total posts 38

Felipe is spot on.  Looked at Air Canada for a trip to New York but YVR to JFK is via Toronto or Montreal on domestic (Air Canada Jazz).  No thanks.  This, combined with a terrible experience of Air Canada flights a few years ago, struck them off my list.   Selected JAL.  International all the way and considerably cheaper than QF/AA, NZ, UA, DL.

are Fiji Airways still planning a new port in USA ? Heard a few months ago, they were looking at Dallas, Houston or Chicago, nonstop from Fiji in new A350s.

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