air canadaAIR Canada inducts a second trans-Pacific route to Australia next month, launching flights to Brisbane using Boeing 787 Dreamliners configured with Business, Premium Economy & Economy class cabins.

The Queensland service was announced close to 12 months ago and is in line with Air Canada’s ‘easy as you go’ approach to network expansion, says general manager for Australia & New Zealand, Paul McLean.

McLean told travelBulletin that Brisbane is a“completely different market” to that of it’s only other Australasian gateway, Sydney, a route the Canadian airline has operated, also from Vancouver, since 2007.

“With Brisbane, we are starting to branch out with more of a sixth freedom strategy, which is why you see the same aircraft, the 787, going onto Newark through Vancouver.”

Air Canada’s Brisbane-New York route – via YVR – is approximately 15mins quicker than that of Qantas’ service to the bustling John F Kennedy Airport through Los Angeles and faster again than flying via QF’s US Mid-west hub of Dallas/Fort Worth, McLean says.

“There is a mentality in Australia that when you talk about flying to New York, people assume it’s via LA,” he said.

“We will have a premium service through Vancouver, avoiding Los Angeles and the US Customs there,” he says of the BNE route.

McLean says Air Canada has soft pedalled for a while on the Brisbane service “because we are so focused with our tourism partners and our corporate strategy of building bilateral trade and bilateral tourism.

“But we’ve realised the importance of having a daily [service] and accessing our entire network beyond just Vancouver.”

McLean said the industry, especially those in Queensland, have embraced the new service. Outbound passenger loads are looking “pretty good”, however he admitted he’d be happier if the mix of volume would be heavier towards the front of the plane.

Competing against incumbent on Brisbane to New York route, Qantas, is a “challenge”. “We’d love to see more of the SME, highend leisure and business traffic.

“We understand the loyalty dynamic from the country here and they have the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, but I think when you do the math and compare the experience together, we’re a premium carrier connecting through a premium airport. Air Canada is just a different way to go. A different alternative.”

AC begin thrice weekly flights to Brisbane on 03 June, moving to daily on 19 June.

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