Air Canada boosts Aust services over Xmas

Reported by AAP
Tuesday, December 18, 2012

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Air Canada has added extra services to Sydney over summer to meet growing demand for Australians heading to the ski fields of North America.

The Canadian flag carrier has supplemented its daily flight between Vancouver and Sydney with three additional services per week over a six-week summer period.

Air Canada chief executive Calin Rovinescu said the ski season was a major drawcard for Australians, "even though it is so beautiful here".

"It is coming in as a test and if it works out well we will continue to add to that," Mr Rovinescu told reporters after speaking at Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce lunch on Tuesday.

In his speech, Mr Rovinescu said about 250,000 Australians visited Canada in 2011, while 120,000 Canadians made their way Down Under.

He said the trend in passenger movements between the two countries had been "running steadily upward, climbing roughly 400 per cent since 1980".

Mr Rovinescu said Air Canada had about 34 per cent of the Australia-Canada market and its flights to Sydney were on average 85 per cent full.

Moreover, yields - an industry term measuring average airfares per passenger - had risen this past year.

While the airline would like to serve Melbourne from its Vancouver hub, Mr Rovinescu said a shortage of suitable aircraft in the fleet meant it would have to pull off another route to do so.

However, the arrival of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from 2015 would create the best opportunity to begin flights to Melbourne, he said.

"We know that we are leaving some traffic behind from other parts of the country," Mr Rovinescu said.

"We know that there is a lot of reason to have destinations besides Sydney."

Air Canada operated Vancouver-Sydney - the airline's longest route at 12,484 kilometres and with a travel time of about 15 hours - with Boeing's ultra-long-range 777-200LR.

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines said on Wednesday it would add a fourth daily flight between Melbourne and the city-state from July 1, 2013.

The new services, and two more a week to Adelaide, meant Singapore Airlines - Australia's largest foreign carrier - would have 121 weekly flights into and out of Australia.

25/04/2014 06:51Sydney, Australia. 25 April,2014
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