Air Canada to fly non-stop Vancouver-to-Delhi flights year-round

Business travel has been key to the route’s success

Delhi is India's largest city and a hub for business on the subcontinent | Shutterstock

Air Canada is upping the frequency of its non-stop flights between Vancouver and Delhi to be year-round instead of just seasonally during the winter, the airline announced January 30.

The plan is now to operate four flights per week during the summer, starting June 8. The airline told Business in Vancouver last summer that it was upping the frequency of its winter flights to five times per week and that winter season ends on April 19. Exact frequency on the route will be adjusted based on demand, according to the airline. 

“Air Canada is committing close to $1.5 billion worth of aircraft between Canada and India, underscoring our commitment to this vibrant market and to our continuing strategic, global expansion,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.

“Our flights to Delhi from our Vancouver trans-Pacific hub onboard our state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner offers the shortest elapsed flying time from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles to the Indian subcontinent."

When Air Canada launched the Vancouver-to-Delhi route on October 20, 2016, the flights were three times per week and were the first-ever non-stop trips between Vancouver and India.

Vancouver Airport Authority executives had been encouraging airlines to launch non-stop routes to the Indian subcontinent for many years prior to that route’s launch.

Smith told BIV at the time that the success of the route would largely depend on whether the 30 business-class pods were filled. The planes also have 21 premium economy seats and 247 economy-class seats.

He added that technological improvements in the Boeing Dreamliner planes helped make the route viable because the lighter planes can fly more efficiently by using less fuel while providing a better in-cabin experience for passengers.

Smith said January 30 that customer response to the flights has been “extremely positive” and that the popularity of the flights is largely why his airline is expanding the service.

Vivek Savkur, president and CEO BC-India Business Network, said that the extension of the route to be year-round “will have a tremendous beneficial effect on trade, travel and tourism between BC and India.”

The schedule for the summer flights is to leave Vancouver on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 1:30 a.m. and to arrive in Delhi at 4 a.m. the following day.

Return flights leave Delhi at 6:10 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and arrive in Vancouver at 7:30 a.m. the same day.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom