Qantas is upgrading its Sydney-Vancouver flights from a seasonal service to run throughout the year, challenging Air Canada to satisfy pent-up demand for travel once Australia's international borders reopen.
In addition to Australians heading for the cosmopolitan harbour city and gateway to the Canadian Rockies, the airline expects plenty of Canucks to be lured down under.
Canada only this month began welcoming back international travellers, who must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before entering the country with a vaccine recognised by the Canadian government: this includes the AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer jabs being used in Australia, along with North America's single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.
Qantas is scheduling three flights a week between Sydney and Vancouver from December 18, with a Boeing 787-9 taking on the 15-hour trek.
As Executive Traveller reported earlier this week, Air Canada plans to restart its Sydney-Vancouver route on December 17 with four Boeing 777 flights per week.
Both Qantas and Air Canada tempt premium travellers with a fully lie-flat bed in business class, where the 1-2-1 seating layout also offers direct access to the aisle.
Ahead of their flight back to Sydney, Qantas' business class travellers and top-tier Qantas Frequent Flyers holding Gold, Platinum and Platinum One status will enjoy access to the Vancouver lounge of Oneworld partner Cathay Pacific.
Designed along the same elegant yet relaxed 'residential' lines as Cathay's The Pier lounges in Hong Kong, as well as other CX lounges in London/Heathrow, Tokyo/Haneda, Bangkok and Taiwan, the space includes the airline's signature Noodle Bar along with self-serve area The Pantry.
At the time of writing Cathay Pacific's Vancouver lounge remains closed, as do most of the airline's lounges around the world.