Air Canada Adds New Flight From Montreal To Tokyo Narita

Filed Under: Air Canada

Air Canada has been undergoing significant international expansion the past few years, largely made possible thanks to the range and size of the Boeing 787. Routes that weren’t previously feasible now make sense.

This expansion has occurred out of their three biggest hubs — Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver — and Air Canada has just announced their latest expansion out of Montreal.

As of June 1, 2018, Air Canada will be launching Boeing 787-8 flights between Montreal and Tokyo Narita. The flight will be operated daily in summer, and 3x weekly in winter. The flight will cover a distance of ~6,500 miles in each direction, and will operate with the following schedule:

AC5 Montreal to Tokyo Narita departing 2:05PM arriving 3:50PM (+1 day)
AC6 Tokyo Narita to Montreal departing 5:30PM arriving 4:30PM

The Air Canada 787 operating the route will feature 251 seats, including 20 business class seats, 21 premium economy seats, and 210 economy seats. Business class on the 787 consists of reverse herringbone seats, which are among my favorite out there. I reviewed Air Canada’s longhaul business class last year from Toronto to Frankfurt and London to Toronto.

Air Canada just recently added flights from Montreal to both Shanghai and Tel Aviv, so this is their next longhaul expansion out of Montreal.

On top of that, Air Canada has added flights from Montreal to Marseille, Reykjavik, Algiers, Lima, Lyon, Casablanca, etc., over the past couple of years. That’s some impressive growth.

Montreal’s only other service to Asia is on Air China to Beijing and Qatar Airways to Doha, so this is the airport’s first service to Japan.

As noted by milesopedia, the other good news is that business class award availability on the route is wide open. Each flight that operates seems to have at least two business class award seats.

Just to give a few examples of business class award pricing with different Star Alliance programs, you can book the route one-way for:

  • 75,000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles
  • 75,000 Avianca LifeMiles
  • 75,000 United MileagePlus miles

Aeroplan passes on carrier imposed surcharges on Air Canada redemptions, though the good news is that these fees are very low for flights to Japan. A one-way ticket booked through Aeroplan will just cost you 98CAD in fees.

That’s because the carrier imposed surcharges on the routing are just 43CAD.

Bottom line

Air Canada’s new Montreal to Narita flight is a nice addition for the airport, and is only the latest of Air Canada’s longhaul growth. If you’re looking to redeem miles, this route also has lots of business class award availability.

  1. Wow! I’m shocked that AC is adding another NRT route. I just took a round trip from YYZ to NRT and the plane was hovering 50% occupancy in J and maybe ˜70% in PE and Y.

  2. Since all AC flights depart around the same time from NRT, it was interesting to see 3 AC 787s parked in icy-blue theme at T1 the other day. After YYZ, YVR, and YYC, this will be the fourth route. Now will see 4 aircraft lined up!

  3. Wow! Surprised as well. I have a paid ticket form YUL to NRT via Europe in June 2018. Might swap it out for this.

  4. I think AC is building up a force to NRT before WestJet gets their 787s and offers competition.

  5. Wasn’t AC5 the flight number of their YYZ-HND route? I’m pretty sure that was my flight number last year going to Japan. Or maybe that was YYZ-NRT.

  6. @phize – I took a trip to China in July on the YYZ-NRT route and my flight had around 50% occupancy in Y. Most of the O/D pax are on the YYZ-HND route so the NRT flight is mainly for connecting traffic and extra seats to Tokyo. AC is probably seeing a lot of demand on YUL-Tokyo but presumably they can’t get slots at HND so they’re forced to use NRT, and this could also save YUL pax a bunch of time by eliminating the need to go through YYZ.

    @Jim – AC5/6 is the YYZ-HND route, but on May 1, it’ll switch numbers with YYZ-NRT, so the HND route will get AC1/2 while NRT route will get AC5/6, then on June 1 when the YUL-NRT route launches, it takes the AC5/6 while the YYZ-NRT changes to AC19/20.

  7. Besides Shanghai, Tel Aviv, Lyon and Tokyo, all of their new flights out of YUL that you mentioned AC has recently started are on Air Canada Rouge. So it really seems that they are growing their Rouge brand long-haul from Montreal as well. I could see AC adding a route from YUL to Tunis and Beirut in the future given the French links, though wouldn’t be surprised if they are both on Rouge.

  8. Ive been doing research and I constantly see Air Canada direct flights from Canada to so many hot spots around the world- very pleasantly surprised as its a good option from LAX. They also offer a fantastic onboard product.

  9. AC seems to be increasing their coverage to Asia, and now has good options from YVR, YYZ, and YVR. Are they going to risk becoming like SAS, where they can’t decide on a hub so run long-hauls out of 3 airports (ARN, OSL, CPH) and spread themselves too thin?

    Seems like AC runs a lot of capacity to Asia, given the size of the Canadian market. I know AC aims to get a lot of US customers (and indeed nearly all my flights to Asia are on AC from the US via YYZ — it’s cheaper), but that’ still hoping for a lot.

    I wonder if they will increase flights from YUL to the US to be able to funnel more US passengers via YUL.

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