Air Canada to re-launch Vancouver-Osaka route

Air Canada | BCBusiness

Targeted at leisure travellers, flights will connect Vancouver with Japan’s second largest urban area

Air Canada’s budget wing has an unlikely new destination: Osaka, Japan. From May 1, 2015, Air Canada Rouge will fly up to five times per week between Vancouver and Japan’s second-largest metro area over the summer season.
The route will also be Air Canada Rouge’s first foray into Asia. The budget subsidiary, which is marketed to vacation-makers, currently operates summer seasonal flights from Toronto and Montreal to a number of European cities, like Venice, Barcelona and Edinburgh.
While those flights are targeted at Canadian travellers, the new offering is more geared toward Japanese holidaymakers, said Benjamin Smith, Air Canada president of passenger airlines in a statement. “The expansion of Air Canada rouge to compete in the fast-growing Asian leisure market in tandem with Air Canada’s mainline fleet renewal is a key element of [the airline’s] strategy,” added Smith.
Osaka-Vancouver, however, is not a new route for the airline: Air Canada previously operated an Osaka-Vancouver route up until the 2008 financial crisis.
By the summer of 2015, Air Canada, All Nippon Airlines and Japan Airlines will operate a total of seven flights per day between YVR and Japan. All Nippon Airways recently started service between Tokyo-Haneda, the capital’s second airport, and Vancouver in May.
YVR also announced Tuesday morning that Qantas plans to—temporarily—start flights between Vancouver and Sydney in January 2015. The Australian airline plans to test the new route by flying six flights over the course of two weeks. Air Canada currently operates a non-stop, direct flight between Sydney and Vancouver.