Air Canada is committing to a massive push into the Asia Pacific region during 2013 as part of what it sees as the Pacific Century, including increased frequency to Sydney, consideration of expanding to Melbourne and a raft of new services into Asia.
In Australia, the airline has already increased the frequency of services between Sydney and Vancouver from seven to 10 a week, while Air Canada’s CEO Calin Rovinescu told Australian Aviation during his recent visit to Australia he is considering adding Melbourne to the network.
Rovinescu said he will judge the merits of a Melbourne service in part based on the success of the additional frequencies to Sydney. If demand is demonstrated, Air Canada will then consider whether to wait until 2015 when its 787-9s are delivered or to make an earlier move and redeploy 777s, two more of which are being delivered during 2013.
To support growth in Australia, Rovinescu said he was calling on Canadian tourism and commerce authorities to promote more heavily the business and leisure opportunities in Canada for the Australian market.
Elsewhere in Asia the airline is adding frequency to Japan and inaugurating services to South Korea during 2013, as well as increasing frequency on existing services. The new services will be operated by 767-300ERs and 777-300ERs.
Like many airlines, Rovinescu sees the region’s forecast growth as being key to Air Canada’s international ambitions as it consolidates and expands after a period of restructuring.
Look for the full interview with Calin Rovinescu in the March 2013 edition of Australian Aviation.