Air Canada will begin direct flights between Vancouver and Melbourne from December 3 in a seasonal service stretching through to February 4, 2018.
The Star Alliance member's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will run four flights a week on every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday:
- flight AC38 departs Melbourne at 11.40am to reach Vancouver at 7.30am the same day
- flight AC37 leaves Vancouver at 10.45pm, arriving into Melbourne at 9.45am two days later
The 7.30am arrival into Vancouver will slot into connections from Air Canada's hub to score of destinations across Canada and the US.
While the service is designed to tap into high travel demand during the northern winter, it will also help Air Canada gauge support for potential expansion of the Melbourne-Vancouver route beyond the peak season.
"By operating the only non-stop service between Melbourne and Canada we are making it easier than ever before for Victorians to experience Canada's unsurpassed winter attractions, which include some of the world's leading ski resorts in British Columbia and Alberta," says Paul McLean, Air Canada's General Manager for Australia and New Zealand.
Melbourne is the third city in Air Canada's Australian footprint, with the airline already flying daily to Vancouver from Sydney and Brisbane.
Air Canada's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner – which will also sport the airline's bold new livery, shown above – sports 30 lie-flat business class seats which Air Canada tags as 'executive pods'.
These are arranged in a 1-2-1 layout to provides direct aisle access for every passenger, with the solo seats angled towards the window while the two centre seats are angled slightly towards each other.
Each seat extends extends to an 80 inch fully flat bed dressed with a 100% cotton duvet and, for that extra touch of indulgence, an espresso and cappuccino service featuring Lavazza coffee.
Other creature comforts include an 18 inch touchscreen video panel and controller and an amenity kit featuring Canadian-made Escents aromatherapy products.
For travellers who're more budget than business, Air Canada’s premium economy cabin offers 21 comfortable seats in a 2-3-2 layout...
Passengers get a 19.5 inch wide seat with 38 inch pitch and a 7 inch recline.
Each set has its own 11 inch touchscreen panel, USB and AC power socket.
The rest of the 787 is given over to 247 economy seats arranged three-across.
The 17.3 inch wide seats have a 5 inch recline and 31 inch pitch, although their slimline design should afford a bit of extra room around the knees.
To take your mind off the squeeze there’s a 9 inch touchscreen with a USB port and shared AC sockets.
The Dreamliner's cabin has been designed for a “contemporary, sophisticated” look, the airline says, using warm natural textiles and fabrics, while the colour palette is based in slate grey “with hints of Canadian red and celeste blue”.
The new Melbourne-Vancouver services will provide for Aeroplan Loyalty Program accumulation and redemption, with eligible customers enjoying priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounge access, priority boarding and other benefits.
Air Canada's business class travellers, Aeroplan Altitude Elite 50K, Elite 75K and Super Elite 100K members and their Star Alliance Gold equivalents will be able to relax pre-flight at the Air New Zealand lounge which opens on May 9.