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May 4, 2017

Air Canada ramps up 787 non-stops, but keep eye on WestJet

It's all Dreamliners on the Vancouver routes, but for the glorious Qantas Queen of the Skies 747

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Air Canada’s 787-9, beautiful from the outside, but rather compact within where you will be for 15 hours

Air Canada will have three non-stop Australia-Vancouver services over the Christmas-New Year peak leisure season at the end of this year, adding Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on the Vancouver route four times weekly between December 3 and February 4, 2018.

The Canadian airline already has year around mostly 787 services to Vancouver from Sydney and Brisbane, in a semi-Dreamlinerathon which gathered momentum after Qantas scheduled much more comfortable 747-400s on the Sydney route more than two years ago.

Canada has surged into frame as a better value for money ski and year around holiday destination for Australia in recent years, and theoretically (since Qantas has not shown anything official about this) become a Jetstar destination at some time in the future.

It could be worth keeping an eye on the ambitions of the other Canadian flag carrier WestJet in the medium term, following its earlier decision this week to acquire 10 Dreamliners plus 10 options.

WestJet is headquartered in Calgary, the ski capital of Canada.

The possibility of two Canadian and two Australian brands divided between low cost and full service brands serving this market could firm in coming years, and Air Canada also has its Rouge leisure division with almost 50 jets in its fleet which appears hungry to find new opportunities for expansion.

The pleasure factor in the Australia-Canada non-stop market at the moment is the 747-400s that fly to Vancouver for Qantas. The 747 may be old, but it is configured with more amenable economy seats that the 787 alternative.

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