Air Canada rouge to link Vancouver to Dublin

Canadian flag carrier Air Canada has announced that it will operate a new direct summer service between Vancouver and Dublin next summer complementing its existing link to the Irish capital from Toronto. This will be the first direct service between the west coast of Canada and Dublin.

Air Canada continues to strategically grow its international network at Vancouver. This new seasonal route follows the recent announcement of several enhancements at the airline's Vancouver International Airport hub for 2016, including new Transborder services to Chicago, San Jose and San Diego, double daily flights to London Heathrow, and the only flights linking Canada to Brisbane, Australia.

With these initiatives, Air Canada is further strengthening Vancouver International Airport as a strategic and important international gateway, connecting its extensive B.C., Western Canada and growing US network with our expanding South Pacific, Asian and European network. Air Canada rouge has indicated that the flight times for the new Dublin-Vancouver route have been timed to optimise connectivity to and from the Air Canada west coast network at its Vancouver Airport hub.

The Vancouver-Dublin flights will be operated three times weekly by Air Canada's leisure airline, Air Canada rouge, with two-class, 280-seat Boeing 767-300ER equipment beginning June 10, 2016 and operating through to October 8, 2016.

“This route is a great, convenient option for Western Canadians travelling to visit the vibrant Emerald Isle with its rich literary history, arts, world-class golf and dramatic landscapes. It will also be equally appealing for our customers from Ireland flying non-stop to visit and experience the spectacular attractions Vancouver and British Columbia offer," said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines, Air Canada.

The new Dublin service will help fill the high demand for flights to Europe during the busy summer travel season. Around 25,000 people currently travel between Dublin and Vancouver on indirect air services each year and that number is sure to increase with the advent of this new direct route and the stimulation benefits a non-stop flight offers.

Annual O&D passengers between the two cities have grown by 55.1 per cent since the start of the decade and traffic grew 20.5 per cent in 2014 versus 2013, the largest year-on-year growth since 2008. This is expected to be surpassed this year with traffic levels already up 44.7 per cent in the first half of 2015 when compared to the same period last year.

Air Canada has the largest and a growing share of this market already (38.1 per cent in 2014, up from 26.5 per cent the previous year), although there are also notable flows via British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Aer Lingus, KLM and from last year, WestJet Airlines following its launch of Transatlantic services to Europe.

“Traffic numbers have been growing dramatically between Ireland and Canada in recent years,” said Vincent Harrison, Managing Director, Dublin Airport. “We’re delighted to add Vancouver to our growing list of destinations from Dublin Airport, and we look forward to working with Air Canada rouge to promote this new service.”

Dublin Airport has been working hard to add further destinations in Canada to its route network to expand choice for passengers. Vancouver will be its fifth destination in Canada, as the airport already offers services to Toronto, St John’s Newfoundland, Montreal, and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Air Canada rouge’s new Vancouver route will be one of the four new transatlantic services from Dublin Airport in 2016, as the airport will also welcome new services to Los Angeles, California, Hartford, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey next summer through growth from Aer Lingus.

Dublin has been a very successful location for Air Canada rouge since it started its year-round Dublin-Toronto service in May 2014. Dublin was the first international destination announced by the new airline and the route was significantly expanded last year to up to eleven times per week during the peak summer season.

Alongside its expansion at Vancouver, Air Canada has recently revealed additional transborder flights into the US from other points in Canada starting in May or June next year. From Toronto new daily flights to Portland, Oregon (seasonal only) and Salt Lake City will be introduced; while twice daily and twice weekly links by its regional partner Air Canada Express will be added to Washington Dulles, DC and Jacksonville, Florida, respectively.

Meanwhile, at Montreal a daily mainline link to Denver, Colorado will be added and Air Canada Express services to Houston, Texas (daily) and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (twice daily); while at Calgary a daily San Francisco, California flight will be added by Air Canada Express, while the Air Canada rouge three times weekly offering to Phoenix, Arizona, will be continued from this winter season.

“Air Canada is the foreign carrier operating the most flights to the U.S., carrying the most customers and serving the most destinations. As such, we are pleased to strengthen our market presence, particularly as the US is the top destination for Canadian travellers and Canada is one of the most popular destinations for Americans,” said Smith.

As a result of its ongoing expansion, Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 63 airports in Canada, 52 in the United States and 86 in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America.

This year to date, it has launched new international services from Montreal-Venice, Montreal-Mexico City, Toronto-Amsterdam, Toronto-Dubai, Toronto-Delhi and Vancouver-Osaka. Next summer, it will be launching new international services from Montreal-Casablanca, Montreal-Lyon, Toronto-Prague, Toronto-Budapest, Toronto-Glasgow, Toronto-London Gatwick, Toronto-Warsaw, Toronto-Seoul, Vancouver-Brisbane and Vancouver-Dublin.

Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…