Air Canada has confirmed speculation that it will commence seasonal flights between Vancouver and Auckland for the Northern Hemisphere winter with an official announcement this morning.
The Star Alliance carrier will fly 4x weekly between December 12th 2019 and the end of March 2020, operating a 251 seat Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft on the route.
AC51 will depart Vancouver at 2345 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday landing in Auckland at 11:05 two days later.
AC52 will depart Auckland at 14:40 on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and landing in Vancouver the same day.
The route is incredibly popular in the Northern Hemisphere winter with thousands of New Zealanders heading north to enjoy the great skiing available in the region. Air New Zealand currently operate daily services over the winter months.
Air Canada and Air New Zealand have finalised a Memorandum of Understanding and plan to enter a Joint Venture on the route subject to regulatory approvals. Whether this will mean a cut back of Air New Zealand flights between Auckland and Vancouver is unknown at this point.
New Zealand Minister of Tourism, Hon. Kelvin Davis, welcomed the new link. "This new non-stop service between Vancouver and Auckland will further deepen the connections between our countries and strengthen our tourism links. More and more Canadians are choosing to visit New Zealand to experience our culture, scenery and Kiwi hospitality. 71,000 Canadians visited New Zealand in 2018, staying on average for 19 days and making an important contribution to the New Zealand economy. In addition to tourism links, Canada is one of New Zealand's closest international partners. Both countries are members of the recently implemented CPTPP free trade agreement."