Key Points:

  • Air Canada will commence its inaugural direct flight from Vancouver to Dubai on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, slated to run four times weekly.

  • The Vancouver Airport Authority has long been an advocate for a direct route to Dubai, emphasizing the economic and travel opportunities it presents.

  • While Air Canada already offers non-stop flights between Toronto and Dubai, the new route's establishment faced historical challenges, particularly in 2010 when Air Canada contested Emirates Airline's plan to expand its Toronto-Dubai service.

VANCOUVER — Air Canada gears up to inaugurate its landmark direct flight service from Vancouver to Dubai. Set to operate four times a week, the route will be serviced by the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Departures from Vancouver International Airport are scheduled on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 9:15 p.m., with an arrival time at Dubai International Airport set for two days later at 12:05 a.m. Return journeys will embark from Dubai on the specified days at 2:05 a.m., landing in Vancouver at 5:55 a.m. on the same day.

The maiden voyage on the new route route is poised for a 9:15 p.m. departure from Vancouver this coming Saturday.

Aircraft Configurations and Air Canada's Expanded Middle East Reach

Providing travelers with diverse seating options, the aircraft servicing this route boasts 30 business-class pods, complemented by 21 premium-economy seats and 247 standard economy seats, as relayed by Air Canada. Angela Mah, a representative for Air Canada, emphasized the strategic importance of the new route, stating it will "bridge the Middle East to Western Canada during the winter season." It's noteworthy that Air Canada has an existing direct flight operation between Toronto and Dubai.

Historical Challenges and Vancouver Airport Authority's Stance

Air Canada's move to establish a direct Vancouver-Dubai route hasn't been without its historical challenges. In 2010, Emirates Airline's aspiration to bolster its Toronto-Dubai service and initiate a Vancouver-Dubai route faced opposition from Air Canada. The Canadian airline's then-CEO, Calin Rovenescu, voiced concerns over Emirates potentially siphoning off Canadian passengers to other nations via a Dubai layover. This would disadvantage Canadian airlines by not offering reciprocal passenger inflow from Dubai. Ultimately, the Canadian government opted against modifying its air agreement with the UAE, prompting Emirates to roll out a Dubai-Seattle route in March 2012.

The Vancouver Airport Authority, in contrast, has persistently championed a non-stop route to Dubai. Tamara Vrooman, the CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority, underscored the vast opportunities such a connection could usher in, especially in sectors like travel, education, and global commerce, during an April statement.

Business Circles Hail the New Connection

The business community has warmly welcomed Air Canada's move. Bridgitte Anderson, CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, articulated the quintessential role of direct air travel in today's business landscape. She remarked on the significance of forging closer global ties, promoting innovation, and fostering regional growth. The new route, in her view, is poised to substantially benefit the region.