Air Canada is giving Australians more excuses to jet off to Canada for the northern winter, with flights from Brisbane to Vancouver ramping up from next week and additional hops from Sydney taking off in early December.
Timed with the northern ski season, Brisbane not only steps up from a Boeing 787-9 to a Boeing 777 on October 30 – a move putting more business beds and premium economy recliners into the sky – but switches to a daily schedule until March 30.
Brisbane departure times are in a state of flux until November 4, when they settle and adopt the following:
- AC36 takes wing from Brisbane at 10:40am, touching down in Vancouver at 6:30am the same day.
- the AC35 return from Vancouver departs at 11:40pm, arriving at 8:35am two days later.
From December 4, the 11:20am daily Sydney-Vancouver flight will be joined by a 4pm departure three days a week until January 18, 2024.
This additional flight will reach Vancouver at around 11:20am, which is well-timed for onward connections or heading straight into the city and checking into your hotel.
Air Canada’s existing daily Sydney-Vancouver remains unchanged as below:
- AC34 sees wheels up from Sydney at 11:20am, touching down in Vancouver at 7am the same day.
- on the return, AC33 bids farewell to Vancouver at 10:50pm, landing in Sydney at 9:35am two days later.
The additional flights are as follows:
- AC38 departs from Sydney at 4pm, touching down in Vancouver at 11:25am the same day, each Monday, Thursday, Saturday.
- from Vancouver, AC37 jets off every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at 8:25pm, arriving into Sydney at 6:55am two days later.
Both Sydney and Brisbane flights feature Air Canada’s spacious lie-flat Signature Class business suites, with diners enjoying meals designed by Vancouver-based chef David Hawksworth and Montreal-based chef Jérôme Ferrer, with matching wines and Laurent-Perrier Brut NV Champagne.
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 on the return.
If you’re not in Sydney or Brisbane, Air Canada’s Virgin Australia partnership offers easy domestic connections, with Velocity members able to earn Velocity Points and status credits, as well as redeem points on eligible AC flights between Australia, Vancouver and beyond.
A one-way business class reward seat from Brisbane to Vancouver on Air Canada will set you back 104,000 Velocity points, plus taxes. This can be booked via the Virgin Australia website.
And while Vancouver is certainly 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.
In additon, 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,” 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.
Additional reporting by David Flynn.