For the second time in 10 years, there’s now a nonstop flight between North America and the capital of one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Thailand. Air Canada Flight AC65, operated by Air Canada, left Vancouver International Airport at 05:55 a.m. on December 1, 2022, bound for Bangkok.
The first flight landed in Bangkok, the Thai capital, the following morning.
Until March 26, 2023, Air Canada’s seasonal service will run four times a week using Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes. Signature Class, which features lie-flat chairs, is one of three available cabins. Premium Economy and Economy Class are the other two.
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays are the scheduled flight days for AC65 from Vancouver to Bangkok. The Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8:30 a.m. departure of Flight AC66 from Bangkok will bring passengers to Vancouver at 6:35 a.m. local time on the following day.
A statement from Air Canada’s senior vice president of network planning and revenue management, Mark Galardo, expressed the company’s excitement at launching its first non-stop service to Southeast Asia and the sole non-stop flights between North America and Thailand.
“Bangkok is also one of the most visited destinations globally, and we have optimised connections to and from our trans-pacific hub at YVR to give customers convenient travel options to explore this exciting city renowned for its history, cuisine and culture, or to conduct international business trade.”
Thai Airways, the country’s flag carrier, discontinued its regularly scheduled nonstop service between Bangkok and Los Angeles in 2012.
As the pandemic fades from view, Thailand lifted the final entry restrictions relating to Covid on October 1, and the country is now striving to rehabilitate its devastated tourism business.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand published a statement to the media stating that the country expects to receive 22 million international visitors that year, which would bring in 80% of the total pre-pandemic tourism earnings.
There were 39.8 million visitors from other countries in 2019.
Travelling the almost 12,000 kilometres (7,456 miles) between Vancouver and Bangkok will take nearly 16 hours by air. Backtracking travellers can breathe a sigh of relief; their 13-hour trips are about average.
However, the duration of these flights is not unprecedented.
Singapore Airlines operates the world’s longest scheduled flight, which departs from Singapore and arrives at New York’s JFK after nearly 18 hours in the air and a distance of 15,323 kilometres.
Qantas, the national airline of Australia, plans to break this record with the introduction of nonstop service between Melbourne and Sydney and New York City and London; the company calls this initiative “Project Sunrise.”
When they finally take off in 2025, these trips will have lasted well over 19 hours. The airline placed an order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s at the beginning of this year.
Air Canada to launches Vancouver-to-Dubai non-stop route
Meanwhile, On Saturday, Air Canada will launch the first nonstop flight from Vancouver to Dubai. The airline intends to fly the route four times per week on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, departing Vancouver International Airport (YVR) at 9:15 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and arriving at Dubai International Airport (DXB) two days later at 12:05 a.m.
The Air Canada check-in and arrival times have changed slightly since the airline introduced the service in April.
The return flights leave Dubai at 2:05 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and arrive in Vancouver at 5:55 a.m. the same day. The first Air Canada Flights on the route will leave Vancouver at 9:15 p.m. on Saturday.
According to the airline, planes flying the route contain 30 business-class pods, 21 premium-economy seats, and 247 economy seats.
“This new route will give our customers in Dubai even more travel options, connecting the Middle East to Western Canada during the winter season,” said Air Canada spokesperson Angela Mah.
Air Canada already flies nonstop between Toronto and Dubai.
When Emirates Airline sought to expand its thrice-weekly Toronto-Dubai service and launch a Vancouver-Dubai route in 2010, Air Canada objected, claiming that Emirates would pick up passengers from Canada and transport them to third countries via Dubai, according to former Air Canada CEO Calin Rovenescu in 2013.
He added that this would result in a loss of passengers for Canadian airlines without any reciprocal benefit from new passengers arriving from Dubai.
In the end, the Canadian government did not liberalise its aviation deal with the UAE, and Emirates began service between Dubai and Seattle in March 2012.
The Vancouver Airport Authority, on the other hand, has long lobbied for a nonstop flight from Vancouver to Dubai Air Canada flight service.
“Direct service to Dubai, with convenient onward connections to southern India and other key destinations across the Middle East, will provide new opportunities for travel, education and access to global markets, helping to meet the needs of our community and the economy that supports it,” Vancouver Airport Authority CEO Tamara Vrooman said in a statement in April.
Business supporters are enthusiastic about the new path.
“Direct air travel is the lifeline of modern business, allowing entrepreneurs to connect with clients, partners, and opportunities across the globe with speed and efficiency,” Bridgitte Anderson, president and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, stated in April.
“Connecting Vancouver directly to more destinations brings us closer together, spurs innovation, and promotes growth in our interconnected world.” As a result, Air Canada’s investment in this new route will undoubtedly benefit our region.”