Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) is today celebrating a milestone achievement with the announcement of Air Canada’s new three times a week direct service between Vancouver and Brisbane from June 2016.
The new service to be operated by Air Canada’s ultra-modern Boeing 787-8 will be the only direct service between the two cities, heralding a new beginning for Queensland and Canada.
The service will cut travel time between the two cities by five hours.
Julieanne Alroe, BAC CEO and Managing Director, said the new service will be great for Queensland travellers with Canada’s famously rugged and beautiful landscape now a direct flight away.
“Attracting international airlines to new destinations is hugely competitive and we’re thrilled to welcome Air Canada, one of North America’s leading airlines, which has committed its flagship aircraft to Queensland.
“We’ve been in negotiations for the past two years working in partnership with Air Canada, Vancouver Airport, Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Australia and the announcement of this new direct service between Brisbane and Vancouver is an achievement worth celebrating.
“Canadian travellers are at an all-time high to Queensland and, with the strong corporate links between our state and Canada due to the resource sector; I’d like to thank all of our partners who have helped make this happen and we look forward to working with Air Canada to make this service a success,” she said.
Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Air Canada continues to strategically expand its international network with the addition of our second Australian destination – Brisbane, complementing our year-round, daily flights from Sydney.
“The new Brisbane route increases our presence in the Asia-Pacific market at a time when trade and travel in the region and between North America is growing, with a further boost expected from the Trans-Pacific Partnership now under negotiation.
“The operating economics of the Dreamliner together with the support from the Queensland Government and Brisbane Airport have enabled us to launch the only year-round flights between Brisbane and Canada,” he said.
John O’Sullivan, Managing Director of Tourism Australia, said additional aviation capacity between Canada and Australia would be warmly welcomed by the tourism industry.
“Inbound tourism from Canada is currently growing at around 6 per cent and with the introduction of direct flights between Vancouver and Brisbane we certainly hope to see further increases on the 140,000 or so Canadian travellers who visited Australia during 2014.
“Queensland has always been popular amongst our North American visitors and, with Canadian arrivals to the state up 12 per cent in 2014, we’re confident that there will be good uptake of the new service, which offers all-important direct connectivity,” he said.
Mr O’Sullivan said Tourism Australia was looking forward to building demand for the new flights by working closely with Air Canada, Tourism and Events Queensland and Brisbane International Airport on a range of targeted marketing activities.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Kate Jones, said the service would operate three times a week from June 2016, and is expected to attract an extra 12,000 international visitors to Queensland each year.
“The Air Canada service represents the first direct flight between Queensland and Canada, and is expected to inject up to $24 million in visitor expenditure for Queensland’s economy per year,” Minister Jones said.
“The service is supported under the Queensland Government’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund (AAIF), and will help entice more North American travellers to visit Queensland.
“The new direct route better connects the state with the growing North American visitor market, which recorded a 9 per cent growth in visitation in the year ending December 2014.
“Growing aviation services to Queensland helps support the state’s tourism economy and creates jobs,” she said.
The service provides Canadians direct access to Queensland’s famous tourism attractions including the beaches of the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, access to the Great Barrier Reef and rainforests of Tropical North Queensland, as well as direct access to every state and 42 destinations across Australia.
Air Canada’s service takes Brisbane Airport’s international network to 29 destinations spanning the Middle East, Asia, the South Pacific and North America.
Being the largest domestic airline in Canada, the service provides unparalleled connectivity to Air Canada’s domestic network of 64 Canadian cities, along with 52 destinations in the United States, and 78 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America.