Air Canada is set to beat Qantas in resuming Sydney-Vancouver flights by one day, with the Candian carrier due for take-off on 17 December.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that Qantas would resume international flights on 18 December, including a Sydney-Vancouver service.
With the Canadian government opening its borders to fully vaccinated travellers on 7 September, Air Canada is ramping up to get Aussies back on board with flights now on sale through all booking channels.
Foreign nationals can now fly to Canada if they have been fully vaccinated with a Canadian government-accepted vaccine (Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and J&J) at least 14 days prior to departure, so long as they meet specific entry requirements.
The Australian government is expected to lift its international travel ban in line with ‘Phase C’ of the National Cabinet’s plan, which involves the gradual reopening of international borders once Australia reaches an 80 per cent vaccination rate.
On current projections, Australia is expected to reach the National Cabinet’s ‘Phase C’ vaccination threshold of 80 per cent in December.
Vic Naughton, Air Canada’s general manager for Australia and New Zealand, said: “As travel restrictions ease across the globe, we are committed to rebuild our international network and continue as a global carrier connecting the world with Canada,
“With Australians eager to travel again to Canada, we are ready to reunite customers with their families and friends.
“Our flights from Sydney to Vancouver conveniently connect to our flights across Canada and the US at our Vancouver hub.
“With our industry-leading CleanCare+ bio-safety protocols, Air Canada has your health and safety as its top priority. We know people are excited to travel, and we look forward to welcoming our customers on board.”
Air Canada is offering four flights per week on a 300-seat B777-200LR featuring a choice of three cabins: Air Canada signature class, premium economy and economy.
Plus, members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer loyalty program can earn points and status credits and redeem on eligible flights with Air Canada between Australia and Vancouver, and beyond.
The airline’s new refund policy offers passengers the option of a full refund to the original form of payment, an Air Canada travel voucher or the equivalent value in Aeroplan points with a 65 per cent bonus should the airline cancel or reschedule a flight by more than three hours.