Air Canada makes Singapore comeback after 33 years with direct flights to and from Vancouver

Air Canada makes Singapore comeback after 33 years with direct flights to and from Vancouver

Air Canada makes Singapore comeback after 33 years with direct flights to and from Vancouver


SINGAPORE - For the first time since 1991, Air Canada has returned to Singapore, with flights to and from Vancouver in western Canada starting on April 4.


The Canadian national carrier’s launch of the non-stop service comes six months after Singapore Airlines (SIA) stopped services between Singapore and Vancouver.


Air Canada’s non-stop flight from Vancouver arrived at Changi Airport on April 4 at 7.36am, and the flight in the opposite direction left at 9.50am.


The route, operated with Boeing 787-9 aircraft, spans nearly 13,000km and is Air Canada’s longest flight by distance. The flight from Singapore to Vancouver takes 14 hours and 40 minutes.


At a press conference on the launch of the non-stop service on April 4, Mr David Rheault, vice-president of government and community relations at Air Canada, said both flights were at full capacity.


He added the addition of the new route is in response to growing market demand. 


“It represents the deepening bonds and mutual opportunities for enhanced collaboration for tourism, trade, businesses, partnership, cultural and institutional exchange between Canada and Singapore,” he said at the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach hotel.



Mr Rheault added: “We are definitely confident that there is demand to sustain the flight.”


Air Canada will fly non-stop between Singapore and Vancouver four times a week, and a fifth weekly flight will be added in December.


In February 2023, SIA announced that its last non-stop flight between Singapore and Vancouver would be on Sept 30, 2023.


A spokesman for the airline said then it decided to stop the service as it regularly reviews its network operations to “adjust capacity to match demand for services” in its various markets.


SIA had returned to the Canadian market in December 2021 and added the non-stop service to Vancouver in June 2022. 


Speaking to The Straits Times, Mr Rheault said: “We have analysed the market; we think there is good potential. It’s a growing market too, because of all the growing relationships between the region and Canada.”


He added that bookings are “looking very good”, even though he declined to provide figures.


He also cited Air Canada’s partnership with SIA as a key one, adding that a code-share agreement between both airlines allows ease of connectivity and access to both carriers’ networks.


When asked if Air Canada will look to increase the number of flights in the future, he said: “We always look at how the market performs, and if the market performs, we are always prepared to add frequencies.”


Ms Kiyo Weiss, vice-president of international sales at Air Canada, said the Singapore flight is the only year-round route the carrier has in South-east Asia, noting that its flights to Bangkok in Thailand are seasonal.


Some 153,000 Canadians visited Singapore in 2023, and they were a good mix of travellers on “business, leisure, visiting friends and families, and students”, she added.


There were about 13,300 international visitor arrivals from Canada in February 2024, compared with about 9,900 in August 2023, according to statistics from the Singapore Tourism Board.


Canada’s High Commissioner to Singapore Jean-Dominique Ieraci, who was at the press conference, said the new flight will increase people-to-people, tourism, business and academic links.


Ms Bridget Anderson, president and chief executive of business association Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, said there is tremendous potential in the connections the new air route will facilitate.


She added: “Already, our two regions are deeply intertwined, with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of goods being traded each year... Ensuring that business can be done with more ease and less stress will help both of our regions prosper and become even better partners.”


Devaraj, S. (2024, April 4). Air Canada makes Singapore comeback after 33 years with direct flights to and from Vancouver. The Straits Times.

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