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Air Canada Returns For Summer Connection Between Auckland And Vancouver

Celebrating a white Christmas is just a flight away with today’s restart of Air Canada’s seasonal route between Auckland Airport and Vancouver.

Touching down up to five times a week it not only puts New Zealanders within easy reach of British Columbia’s famous ski fields but provides a convenient hub for anyone wanting to explore deeper into North America on Air Canada’s network beyond Vancouver.

Auckland Airport’s General Manager Customer and Aeronautical Commercial, Scott Tasker, said Air Canada’s return rounds out a great summer season of airline reconnections at Auckland Airport.

“Canadians have been a growing market for inbound travel, with the four years leading up to the pandemic seeing a nearly 40% increase in arrivals. For three quarters of them it’s their first trip to New Zealand and we know they make the most of it, staying considerably longer than the average overseas visitor. So don’t be surprised to see Canadians out exploring all corners of New Zealand this summer,” he said.

“And it’s great to celebrate the return of Air Canada’s passenger connection after a nearly three-year absence. Air Canada first operated the seasonal service to Vancouver between December 2019 and March 2020. When COVID grounded international aviation, Air Canada were among the first airlines to strip the seats out of the passenger deck to create more space for vital airfreight on cargo-only services.

“We really appreciate how they continued to connect Auckland Airport, and more importantly New Zealand businesses, with the only air freight link into Canada for another 18 months beyond that first seasonal passenger service.

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“Over that time Air Canada’s freight-only passenger aircraft touched down 235 times at Auckland Airport, each time with between 29 and 36 tonnes of cargo on-board, depending on the aircraft deployed. That’s been the link that has gotten amazing New Zealand products like fresh lamb, tomatoes and salmon onto restaurant plates, respiratory equipment into medical settings, and incredibly, 60 tonnes of live bee cargo into hives right across Canada.

“Now, it’s time to reclaim some of that air cargo space for travellers heading off on a trip of a lifetime or simply reconnecting with family, friends and business colleagues,” said Mr Tasker.

For those using Vancouver as a jumping off point not just further into Canada but into the US, travellers can pre-clear US customs and immigration formalities in Canada before boarding connecting flights to the US.

“Each time a route restarts or opens at Auckland Airport, it not only provides more capacity to and from New Zealand, but also great links to major hubs for onward journeys. We’re really excited for the air connection opportunities these create for our travellers, tourism operators, and critical exports.”

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