Qantas mounts up for more Sydney-Vancouver flights

By Chris C., February 4 2015
Qantas mounts up for more Sydney-Vancouver flights

Qantas will continue flying between Sydney and Vancouver in 2015 following a successful trial of seasonal flights during December-January.

The airline's "extended seasonal schedule" will see three flights a week during the US summer and winter periods on a three-class Boeing 747 fitted with A380-grade business class, premium economy and economy seats.

"Our direct Vancouver services proved really popular so we’re pleased to expand them this year, offering customers more flights on more days over winter and summer" said Qantas Executive Manager International Sales, Stephen Thompson.

From Vancouver, travellers can fly onwards to other Canadian cities through Qantas codeshare partner WestJet.

PREVIOUS | Ahead of planned seasonal flights to Vancouver in January 2015, Qantas is seeking travel rights between Australia and Canada on an ongoing basis.

According to an application [PDF, 426kb] filed with the International Air Services Commission (IASC), “Qantas plans to operate seasonal services between Australia and Canada during periods of peak demand throughout the year.”

A Qantas spokesperson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that if granted, the IASC submission would “permit Qantas to operate up to 3 return services per week between Australia and Canada” year-round.

With an allocation of 1,092 seats per week, Qantas could run those three return flights on its 364-seat reconfigured Boeing 747 aircraft with fully-flat Skybeds in business class, plus A380-like seats in premium economy and economy.

The application doesn’t preclude the Red Roo’s Airbus A380s from hopping onto the route, although at a whopping 484 seats spread across first class, business, premium economy and economy, flights would be limited to twice-weekly under the current IASC request.

Interestingly, the proposal would also allow the travel rights to be “utilised by Qantas or another Australian carrier which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qantas”.

Jetstar Australia’s growing fleet of long-range Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners could easily make the 7,757-mile trek from Sydney to Vancouver, although most business travellers would naturally gravitate to the fully-flat beds in Qantas business class against the reclining seats at the pointy end of Jetstar’s Dreamliners.

Qantas has also forged a codeshare partnership with Canadian airline WestJet, providing direct connections from Vancouver to destinations such as Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary, while also adding Montréal, Halifax and Edmonton to the Red Roo’s codeshare map.

Air Canada currently has a monopoly on the direct Sydney-Vancouver route, running its own daily flights with business class and economy – although not premium economy or first class – on its Boeing 777-200LRs.

Air Canada's Boeing 777s, flying non-stop from Sydney to Vancouver
Air Canada's Boeing 777s, flying non-stop from Sydney to Vancouver

Responding to heavy transpacific demand, Qantas will also ramp up its services between Melbourne and Los Angeles from seven to ten each week as of January next year after upsizing its direct Sydney-Dallas flights from the Boeing 747 to the Airbus A380 later this month.

Santiago also picks up an extra weekly return flight from November – originally tagged as a ‘seasonal’ service but now carried forward from February 2015 as a permanent boost following an expanded codeshare partnership with Chilean Oneworld member LAN Airlines.

Also read: Qantas to fly to Vancouver in January 2015

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

14 Sep 2013

Total posts 14

Aren't they going to run out of 747s and 380s to run all these routes with retirements and delayed orders???   And who wants to fly that distance on an LCC, even flying Jetstar up to Japan would be a bit on the trying side stuck down the back...

But at least its some new, or renewed, thinking which is better than the recent trends...

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 440

They are absolutely going to run out of aircraft.

They can't grow routes and retire old aircraft at the same time with no new aircraft coming. The triumphant fanfare of retiring 'gas-guzzling' inefficient aircraft skipped the minor detail that there was nothing to replace it with. QF currently have no fleet renewal planning.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 475

Maybe they'll pick up some ageing A380's from Emirates? I seem to recall reading somewhere that their first gen A380's are due to be retired in the next few years...

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1027

While EK likes to retire aircraft much earlier then other airlines, often after only 5-7 years, there is no 2nd hand market for them. The A380 owners who lease the aircraft to EK are likely going to try to convince EK to keep them for longer at a lower lease price.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1424

I think you meant to say ' fleet renewal planning apart from 35 789s and 8 A380s'. Which might have go cut off from your message

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 440

I dont think JQ will enter this route - its just too long for an LCC. Air Asia attempted LCC long haul and failed. That being said, JQ services to HNL seem to be amongst the strongest in their network - the most expensive route by far that is rarely discounted. If they could launch SYD-YVR on JQ for an intro price of $999 return it would certainly be attractive for skiiers tossing up between Japan and Canada.

VA Platinum

21 Nov 2013

Total posts 20

As an ex-pat Canuck living in SYD I would fly JQ to YVR for the right price! AC have ridiculously expensive fares on this route, and as such I usually end up transiting through LAX which adds at least 4 or 5 hours to the whole trip.

Definitely would consider it....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 548

I've gladly paid the extra $400 or so 3 times now enroute to cranbrook for the snow to avoid the nightmare that is LAX, well worth it in my opinion, YVR transit was a breeze. Interestingly also on the way back it was the first time I have ever seen no security screening inbetween disembarking a domestic flight and connecting to an international flight, just walk about 300m to the gate in the same building! They have things sorted over there unlike our lovely aiports here!

18 Mar 2014

Total posts 98

To avoid AC and LAX, NZ have their flights via AKL which is much easier. Although not daily, the services are between 3-6 per week.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1027

The Australia-Canada air services bilateral allows Australian carriers 5th freedom rates from HNL, SFO, Fiji and Tahiti.

They could very well be planning a SYD-HNL-YVR JQ 787.


The request for 1,092 return seats/week isn't even half of what they could ask for (3,000).

21 Apr 2013

Total posts 34

finally some expasion from qantas this is long awaited 

hopefully this is the start of something new from Qantas not the same old cuting

So Air Canada is allowed daily flights but Qantas can only request rights for up to 3 return flights a week only?

Does this make sense to anyone?

Excuse my ignorance on the workings of the IASC/Bi-lateral rights.

Did Qantas ask for 3 only or has some authority dictated a maximum of 3?

05 Jun 2012

Total posts 5

There's a capacity of 3000 seats per week available on the route and currently Air Canada utilise 1890 seats per week. This leaves 1110 spare seats available for Qantas to utilise and when you divide this figure by 364 you end up with approximately 3 (weekly flights)

So who thought it was a good idea to give Air Canada 63%?

50/50 would be a lot fairer.

Or is it first come first served?

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1027

No, Australian carriers can use up to 3,000 seats per week.

Canadian carriers can use up to another 3,000 seats per week.

The current available capacity for Australian carriers is 3,000 seats. lists all capacity available to Australian carriers under every air services treaty.

Ah right. Thanks Himeno!

That's not the impression I got from reading the article. The impression was poor battling Qantas granted only 3 flights a week!

I suppose a line indicating Qantas management only requested 3 flights a week wouldn't go amiss 

08 May 2013

Total posts 18

They do really need to commit to these 787-9 options as the 747-400's are retired otherwise they will have to reduce,cut or re-time routes due to the lack of available aircraft!

12 Feb 2014

Total posts 229

Watch this space. They've been consistently springing surprises lately and AJ did say they would start buying new planes once international returned to profit. Analysts predict that will be in this current half. Cross fingers on a 787-9 announcement.

14 Sep 2013

Total posts 14

Just be nice if there were a few more positives surprises rather than all the simpler/fairer rubbish...

But yes time to do something or get off the pot as they say, either the A350, B777, B787 or B747-8i....   I guess with J* they already have 787s in the fleet so for reduced maintenance costs on a streamlined fleet the 787-9 should be in the lead...


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1424

Not to mention the 8 A380s tey have on order;a sight better than the 748.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1424

I suspect they will also take two HGW A380s for Dallas to free up A380s for HK and maybe extra Syd-LA as well.  The seasonal flights allows them to do 747 mainenace in low season and keep utilisation up.

Qantas used to fly Hawaii to Vancouver on 767 which was always empty,so always had full row to self,so perhaps jetstar could continue that route with their low cost model.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1027

They also used to fly the QF73/74 747 up from SFO.


AC used to run their YYZ-YVR-SYD flight via HNL. They got rid of the HNL stop as soon as they got enough aircraft capable of bypassing the stop.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 464

Right you are and way before that They had the 747's which started their journey in either Brisbane or Cairns and went via Honolulu to Vancouver.Perhaps Qantas could maybe with the A330's consider extending QF3 AND QF4 HNL/YVR with a 6pm or 7pm departure ex Sydney into HNL same day around 6am or 7am and with say a one to tour hour transit continue onwards arriving mid afternoon into Canada.It would provide excellent connections from All of Australia into the flight.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jan 2013

Total posts 59

Out with the old and in the with the new:

  • Out with old aircraft
  • Out with old routes
  • Out with old outdated, legacy work-practices
  • Out with the nay-sayers and critics
  • In with new routes
  • In with new aircraft utilisation timings
  • in with new workpractices
  • In with 1st Q 2015 profit for QF

Qantas isn't a charity, it's a business and it's great to see it operating as one.

14 Sep 2013

Total posts 14

All seems so simple now...  ;o)

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 316

Fairer too*! 



*maybe :-)

14 Feb 2012

Total posts 37

Finally someone says it!!


It's emabarrassing to see what Qantas has become.  About time the turn around is here.  Qantas is a legacy airline and it required (as with BA, American and JAL to name a few) a huge overhaul to stop it from going to the wall (even though two of those airlines had bankrupcy protection and basically went to the wall. 

I'm finally giving Qantas another shot after spending thousands upon thousands of dollars flying Business and First with other airlines internationally for years.  Next week I leave for London, please oh please Qantas don't disappointment me!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 37

It still blows my mind that all these new routes (or increases in frequency) are occuring yet there is still no option from AU to SFO!! I've travelled SYD-SFO for 10+ years and when Qantas was flying it the flights were always packed. I just don't get it...surely somebody can give United a run for their money?!?

Until then I'm an Air NZ guy down through AKL...

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 128

Maybe they'll do SYD-SFO-YVR.  Someone mentioned they've got the 5th freedom rights to fly through HNL, SFO, NAN, and PPT.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 413

guys you have a very good informative product here with the website BUT few too many typos and errors creeping in like the last two paragraphs of the story above from today. if you're cutting and pasting at least update the relevant points.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 243

The QF flight price for this route is rather expensive.

Air NZ could get you there for much cheaper.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1251

Yes, but with Air NZ you have to go via AKL. For some people that is fine. For others they would be happy to pay more to fly non-stop. For people based in MEL, ADL etc, that makes Air NZ very attractive option.

The pricing on this route really only needs to compete with AC anyway. 

British Airways - Executive Club

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 47

Travellers really don't want to bother going through the US unless they are only going to the US. AC currently has a monopoly on the YVR-SYD route and its always packed. So having QF there would definitely be welcomed but they have to offer it year round. No use having it as a seasonal service and no use telling people to connect at LAX. 

09 Aug 2014

Total posts 17

It's a shame QF pushed back the options for the 787-9 till 2017. Surely with the successful trial of the route & adding on another seasonal period it should urge QF management to reconsider taking back those options & fly this route year round & not seasonal using the 747's. Expansion into North & South America is QF best options for future growth internationally. 

Would it be an option for QF to trial MEL-YVR instead of SYD?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 May 2014

Total posts 19

Last week due to an injury  boarded Air Canada flight YVR to SYD with cabin crew.

Seated in Business: There was a preflight briefing from a "Suit" to all Cabin Staff that stressed the possible inroads that Qantas were about to make on their YVR / SYD route. It was animated and pushed the buttons about service and maintaining Air Canadas dominance on this route.

Interesting to see Management on board at midnight briefing Staff, they must be a little concerned in the higher ranks.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 128

Competing against the mediocre levels of service on Air Canada shouldn't be much of a problem for Qantas.  The bigger issue in my mind is connections.  WestJet is like our Jetstar (minus the cheap fares).  Anyone connecting onwards from YVR will get LCC-level service on their domestic Canadian leg.  As a J passenger, I would not be amused having to spend the last 5 hours in Y to reach YYZ.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 243

Unfortunately, there isn't another full service carrier in Canada other than AC. Otherwise, oneworld would have considered looking atrecruiting one from that country.

Westjet could be somewhat Airberlin equivalent they were to be join an alliance.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

13 Mar 2015

Total posts 79

So much noise for the flights of AC to BNE or MEL… in 787, but you have to know that you will require flying on Business or Premium Economy otherwise, you will be very uncomfortable in Economy.  For your reference I’m 6’ (183cm) 190lb 34 waist, and YVR-PEK was horrible… first of all the IFE people touch and touch constantly that you can feel it in your head… very thin layer on the seats, but the worst of all facts is that seats are very narrow, they seems to be the narrower seats I have ever been before. Honestly with you I have tried QF and they have superior product for Long Haul flights...  I will never take AC to Australia period… QF has much better service, better food, better drinks and better seats… and it’s using my favorite airplane of all, Boeing 744 on the skies on this route. ..I love 777 from AC but the whole product is not superior then QF.

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