Melbourne Airport is exploring the return of service to Vancouver with the return of Air Canada.
Air Canada currently serves two Australian cities, Sydney and Brisbane. Its primary airport it features at is Australia’s busiest, Sydney.
Since 2020, its presence further south at Melbourne Airport has disappeared. This came following a review in February 2020 that saw the direct Melbourne to Vancouver flight paused.
Air Canada noted that a resumption would’ve taken place in November 2020. Unfortunately, one thing led to another, and the emergence of the global pandemic threw those plans out the window.
Now, as markets recover, one city the Canadian carrier has yet to return to is Melbourne. Yet, this is a city that the airline has labelled as necessary.
Previously their four times weekly services flew under a seasonal service. Thanks to demand, the airline committed to year-round operations before it paused services from the airport.
As the end of 2022 approaches, the airline has yet to return to the city.
Connection Difficulties For Melbourneians
For travellers looking to head to the country, connections through Sydney or Brisbane are necessary.
In addition, options to fly through the United States, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, with U.S-based airlines exist.
Unfortunately, all these options have the same thing in common that deters travellers. That is, it causes an increased inconvenience, with long connection times, rechecking of bags and terminal changes.
Vancouver offers better connectivity and is paired with the ease of onward travel to Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and other cities. It’s a much more flattering journey that Melbournians currently struggle to enjoy.
Air Canada’s Return To Melbourne?
On the sidelines of the 151st IATA Slot Conference, discussions occurred with Melbourne Airport representatives, who directly handle airline accounts. Much of the discussion centred around Air Canada.
Executives were keen and understood the importance of having such an airline servicing the city and noting how passengers and the airport could benefit from such a route restarting.
Melbourne will be Australia’s busiest city by 2030. As part of that goal, Melbourne Airport is hopeful of making it a leading choice for international and domestic flights.
Air Canada is a valuable airline with a missing connection to Melbourne. If Melbourne wants to stamp its authority, its most significant goal is to become a better alternative to Sydney for international airlines.
In the early stages of 2023, a routine review will take place for all current airline accounts. Discussions will progress about the further resumptions and potential new ones.
There is a consensus that the Melbourne Airport team will focus on the Air Canada account—pushing for an eventual return in 2023.
A return would mark Melbourne as the third city the airline serves directly from Vancouver.
Travellers that fly to Canada have expressed on forums how the airline scaling back services to Sydney in favour of even 2x weekly flights to Melbourne would have positive repercussions.
Developments between the pair will be followed closely. Melbourne Airport seems incredibly interested in welcoming back the Canadian airline.
The next step will be reviewing the account in 2023 and moving forward with hopefully a schedule that benefits all parties.