Air Canada

Air Canada announces New Zealand service

Air Canada moved to further strengthen its Vancouver hub with new non-stop seasonal flights to Auckland, New Zealand. (photo: Brett Ballah)

Air Canada announced plans to further strengthen its Pacific hub Wednesday, with new winter seasonal flights between Vancouver and Auckland, New Zealand.

The flights, aboard Boeing 787-800 aircraft, with operate four days a week from December until March, 2020.

“We have timed our Auckland flights to conveniently connect at our YVR trans-Pacific hub to and from a multitude of non-stop destinations throughout North America including New York-Newark,” said Air Canada Executive Vice-President Lucie Guillemette.

Air Canada also announced it would negotiate a joint venture with Air New Zealand, already a Star Alliance partner, to collaborate on schedules and passenger connections through the South Pacific. Air New Zealand already flies Vancouver-Auckland through the winter season with larger Boeing 777. It’s not clear how Air Canada’s service would affect its partner’s flights.

An Air New Zealand Boeing 777 lands in Vancouver in January, 2019.

“Air Canada and Air New Zealand already have a close partnership, having been codeshare and Star Alliance partners for more than 20 years. We look forward to deepening our relationship and optimizing our far-reaching trans-Pacific network co-operation, offering our customers a choice of more flights, connections and travel opportunities,” added John MacLeod, Vice President, Global Sales and Alliances at Air Canada.

Last year, more than 71,000 Canadians visited New Zealand. The country’s tourism minister, Kelvin Davis, says visitors stayed an average of 19 days in his country.

“In addition to tourism links, Canada is one of New Zealand’s closest international partners. Both countries are members of the recently implemented CPTPP free trade agreement,” said Davis.

“We are thrilled Air Canada has added this new direct flight from Vancouver to Auckland,” said Lisa Beare, BC Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Vancouver is a great place to start a made-in B.C. adventure and we look forward to welcoming more travellers from New Zealand to discover all that British Columbia offers in the winter and spring.”

Air Canada announced a bevy of new overseas services Wednesday, also adding service from Toronto to Quito, Ecuador, and from Montreal to Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Air Canada executives have told investors they see greater opportunities in overseas markets, and would focus on building international service from their hubs in Canada’s three largest cities.

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