Air Canada launches new Australasian connections from Vancouver; posts over 20% average growth to the continent

Air Canada is the fastest growing carrier between Vancouver and Australasia, with the airline’s first Vancouver – New Zealand connection launching in December.

Air Canada has grown significantly within the Australasian market since 2014. While average growth from Air New Zealand and Qantas has either been relatively flat – or shrinking for Qantas – Air Canada has seen capacity grow by a five-year mean average of over 20%. Air Canada is now the sole operator on the Vancouver (YVR)-Brisbane and YVR-Melbourne routes, with Qantas shrinking capacity to Sydney route and the only competitor on the upcoming Auckland route being Star Alliance partner Air New Zealand. Recently, Air Canada and Air New Zealand have expressed interest in undertaking a Joint Venture, which would further strengthen the pair’s position within the YVR-Australasian market.

Source: OAG Traffic Analyser

As well as being the fastest-growing airline between YVR and Australasia, Air Canada also ranks as the fastest-growing airline overall out of YVR, with London Heathrow currently the largest international destination according to OAG Analyser. This growth over the past five years has enabled Air Canada to increase its market share by seat capacity at YVR from 39% in 2014 to 49% in 2019.

Source: OAG Traffic Analyser

Currently, despite its international growth of over 13% per year, Air Canada only ranks 22nd by international departing seats from Australia in S19, and the Asian market remains relatively underserved aside from a few core gateways like Hong Kong, Shanghai and New Delhi. Bangkok, a large unserved destination, saw over 29,000 one-way connecting passengers from Vancouver in 2018, but it is relatively low-yielding. South America does not currently have a direct Air Canada flight from YVR, despite Sao Paulo Guarulhos alone seeing over 25,000 one-way connecting passengers in 2018. 

Source: OAG Traffic Analyser

When calculating one-way indirect traffic in 2018, Perth comes out top as the largest unserved route between YVR and Australasia with an average fare of USD$1,048 (excluding taxes and fuel surcharges and average across all cabins). However, the traffic figures are not large in themselves for what are very long routes.  When YVR to all of Australia and New Zealand is considered, there were 168,000 indirect passengers, up from 137,000 in 2017, just for P2P demand.

Source: OAG Traffic Analyser

Heathrow has been the largest international route from YVR since 2018, with Delhi the fastest growing market. On the Australasian side, Brisbane went from being unserved in 2015 to the carrier’s 9th largest international route from YVR in 2019, and Sydney is the 4th largest route for the airline. Clearly, then, these markets will be a large source of growth for Air Canada and Vancouver Airport in the coming years.

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