Photo courtesy of Air Canada
WHY IT RATES: This Vancouver/India flight is part of Air Canada’s expansion of international routes, with an enhanced entertainment system, cuisine from renowned Canadian chefs, lie-flat Business Class seats and more. -Michael Isenbek, TravelPulse Senior Editor
Air Canada's inaugural flight AC72 departed on Oct. 20 from Vancouver, arriving in Delhi Saturday morning, starting the only non-stop service linking Vancouver and the Indian subcontinent.
"We are delighted to inaugurate our second route between Canada and India right in time for Diwali celebrations. Our non-stop flights from our Asia-Pacific Vancouver hub feature 787-9 Dreamliner service and offer the shortest elapsed flying time from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles to the Indian subcontinent," said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada. "Our non-stop flight, coupled with our streamlined and seamless connections process at YVR translates to a savings of three to five hours compared to itineraries with connections in Europe or Asia.
"We're also excited to offer all our customers contemporary, inspired Indian dishes by celebrated Vancouver chef Vikram Vij in all cabins of service on our Vancouver-Delhi and Toronto-Delhi flights, which complements the signature creations by internationally renowned Canadian Chef David Hawksworth in our International Business Class. Our state-of-the-art aircraft, multi-lingual crews, onboard offerings, in-flight entertainment which includes Bollywood hits and acclaimed multi-lingual art-house films, together with our extensive western Canada domestic and western U.S. trans-border network and the seamless connection experience through YVR all position Air Canada and YVR to be the preferred gateway hub for Pacific Northwest travel to and from India," concluded Mr. Smith.
"Thanks to Air Canada's commitment to growth out of its preferred transpacific hub, YVR has a direct link to one of the most iconic cultural centers and economic hubs in India," said Craig Richmond, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. "This service has long been requested by our community. The much-coveted route opens up access to key markets in business and travel and creates more jobs and opportunities for our communities."
"The BC India Business Network is absolutely thrilled that Air Canada has a direct flight between Vancouver and Delhi," stated Douglas Nazareth, Director, Finance at the BC-India Business Network. "Our members appreciate the fact that they not only save a minimum of eight hours off their journey but also arrive fresh on the other end thanks to the technology of the new Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Our President is on the inaugural flight and many of us will patronize this route."
Air Canada's Vancouver-Delhi flights are operated with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, featuring the airline's award-winning, three-cabin service configured with 30 International Business Class individual lie-flat suites, 21 Premium Economy seats and 247 Economy Class seats. Air Canada's Dreamliners feature its enhanced seatback In-Flight Entertainment system, available at every seat throughout the aircraft. Flights provide for Aeroplan accumulation and redemption and, for eligible customers, priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounge access in Vancouver, priority boarding and other benefits.
Air Canada has optimized connections to and from the carrier's extensive Western Canada and Western U.S. network through the airline's Vancouver hub, and in Delhi, Star Alliance partner Air India offers excellent connectivity across the Indian subcontinent.
The new Vancouver-Delhi service is part of Air Canada's ongoing international expansion this year, following the recent launch of Vancouver-Brisbane, Vancouver-Dublin, Toronto-Seoul, Toronto-London Gatwick, Toronto-Prague, Toronto-Budapest, Toronto-Warsaw, Toronto-Glasgow, Montreal-Casablanca and Montreal-Lyon.
In 2017, the airline will launch new international services between Vancouver-Taipei (subject to government approvals), Vancouver-Nagoya, Toronto-Mumbai, Toronto-Berlin, Montreal-Shanghai, Montreal-Algiers (subject to government approvals) and Montreal-Marseille.
Last year, Air Canada launched new international services between Vancouver-Osaka, Toronto-Delhi, Toronto-Amsterdam, Toronto-Dubai, Montreal-Venice and Montreal-Mexico City.
SOURCE: An Air Canada press release