Melbourne Airport Eyes The Return Of Air Canada


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.

Air Canada previously flew from Vancouver to Melbourne.

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.

Domestic connections to Sydney and Brisbane must board an Air Canada service to Vancouver.

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.

Melbourne Airport will be Australia’s largest city by 2030

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.

Daniel Fowkes
30 Dec 2022
· Exclusive 

Leave a Reply

  1. I was really surprised when AC pull the service to MEL. I flew the MEL/YVR service right at the beginning of the pandemic just before the route was pulled. I really thought the would have canceled the route to BNE but I guess the traffic is there on that route.
    I hope AC reinstated YVR/MEL

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      I hope they reinstate it too. I’ve flown through Sydney countless times trying to get to YVR and onwards. A connection from Melbourne would be helpful and I think most are in agreement.

  2. As a Canadian, I would love to see more Qantas flights to Canada such as Toronto or Calgary.

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  3. Hope this works out for Melbourne, by reading your article seems like they got the raw end of the deal!!

  4. Pingback: Vietjet Announces Melbourne Flights - Dj's Aviation

  5. It really is frustrating that Melbourne doesn’t service YVR direct.

    Having to endure the split terminal Sydney or Brisbane is very inconvenient – I now default to United MEL SFO YVR – SFO is easier to transit than a terminal change via bus in Australia, flight times are great and prices are routinely 20-30% less in J class.

    Air Canada should definitely return to Melbourne – especially when they’re routinely running 2 flights ex. Sydney seasonally.

  6. Please return the Melbourne to Van back. Also prices are astronomical with all other airlines.

  7. Every year I am coming to Melbourne.Previously I used air Canada from Vancouver to
    Melbourne.If began this service again I am very happy.I hope it comes soon.

  8. I flew YYZ/YVR MEL and MEL YVR/YYZ frequently before the pandemic and the flights were almost always full. On one occasion using the larger 773ER equipment, they were too heavy for the load and distance and had to offload passengers – that suggests the route is being used to the max. Would love to see a return of this service in 2023! (Otherwise AC, allow Qatar Airways into Toronto as that would be one-stop to MEL thru DOH). YYZ DOH: use it or lose it AC).

  9. Surely it is time that AC reinstate the direct Melbourne to Vancouver flight, especially as Melbourne is the most populated city in the country.

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