Today, Vancouver Airport Authority celebrated Air Canada’s inaugural seasonal three-time weekly service to Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) from Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The highly anticipated service marks the first non-stop flight from Vancouver to India and highlights YVR’s continued growth as a premier connecting hub between Asia and the Americas.
“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 centres 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.”
Just in time for the vibrant festivities of Diwali, this new route is made possible by advances in aircraft technology allowing lighter aircrafts to fly further while requiring less fuel thereby improving the economic viability of the route. Air Canada will operate a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, featuring 30 International Business Class lie-flat pod suites, 21 Premium Economy and 247 Economy Class seats with upgraded in-flight entertainment.
“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 3-5 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 US transborder 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.
As a direct result of the new Vancouver to Delhi service, more than 90 jobs were created at YVR and throughout British Columbia. And additional $5.4 million in Gross Domestic Product, $1.9 million in taxes and $3.4 million in wages were added to the province.
“Having B.C. and India directly linked by air will help facilitate trade and business relationships as well as allow families and friends to come together more easily,” said British Columbia Finance Minister Michael de Jong. “On behalf of the Province of B.C. I’d like to thank Air Canada and Vancouver Airport Authority for working to establish this direct flight between B.C. and Delhi.”
In 2015, close to 50% of passengers welcomed at YVR came on Air Canada aircraft. These numbers reflect the airlines exceptional growth out of YVR in the last two years with new routes to Osaka, Cancun, San Jose, San Diego, Chicago, Dublin, Brisbane and Delhi. Looking ahead to 2017, Air Canada will launch three new international destinations including daily service to Dallas Ft. Worth starting February 6, followed by thrice-weekly service to Nagoya on June 1 and daily service to Taipei on June 8.
The flight departs YVR at 23:15, arriving in DEL at 01:55(+2) local time. It will depart DEL at 06:55 and arrive at YVR at 08:20. Flight times will be adjusted in early November to account for daylight savings. The flights are timed to optimize Air Canada’s Western Canada and US network through YVR.