This is exciting — Air Canada has just announced a second route to Dubai!
In this post:
Air Canada’s new Vancouver to Dubai flight
As of October 28, 2023, Air Canada will launch a new 4x weekly flight between Vancouver (YVR) and Dubai (DXB). The route will operate with the following schedule:
AC78 Vancouver to Dubai departing 8:50PM arriving 11:50PM (+1 day)
AC79 Dubai to Vancouver departing 2:00AM arriving 5:55AM
Air Canada will use a Boeing 787-9 for the route, featuring 298 seats. This includes 30 business class seats, 21 premium economy seats, and 247 economy seats.
The flight to Dubai will operate on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, while the flight to Vancouver will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The flight will cover a distance of 7,306 miles in each direction. The flight time will be staggeringly long, given that Air Canada has to avoid Russian airspace — the flight is blocked at 15hr to Dubai, and 15hr55min to Vancouver.
This new service complements Air Canada’s existing daily service between Toronto (YYZ) and Dubai (DXB). For what it’s worth, that flight operates with the following schedule:
AC56 Toronto to Dubai departing 10:25PM arriving 7:35PM (+1 day)
AC57 Dubai to Toronto departing 1:30AM arriving 8:20AM
How this fits into service between Canada & the UAE
In late 2022, Air Canada and Emirates launched a new partnership, which even includes reciprocal points redemptions. This agreement is significant. Canada has an incredibly diverse population, with lots of people from parts of the world that are well served through Dubai. This creates great one-stop connectivity between Canada’s largest cities and the region.
Beyond that, Canada and the United Arab Emirates recently modified their bilateral flight agreement, allowing for increased frequencies between the two countries:
- With this, airlines from Canada can operate 21 weekly flights to the UAE, and airlines from the UAE can operate 21 weekly flights to Canada, marking a 50% increase over the previous limits
- It gets even better than that, though; previously there was a total limit on the number of seats, which is why Emirates wouldn’t even operate daily A380s, while that cap has now been lifted
Just to keep tabs on the current service that has been announced between Canada and the UAE:
- Air Canada will operate 11x weekly flights to Dubai, with 7x weekly flights from Toronto and 4x weekly flights from Vancouver; this represents an increase of 4x weekly flights
- Emirates will operate 7x weekly flights to Toronto from Dubai; this represents an increase of 2x weekly flights
- Etihad will operate 7x weekly flights to Toronto from Abu Dhabi; this represents an increase of 1x weekly flights
As you can see, it’s unlikely Canadian airlines will reach the limit of what they’re allowed to fly to the UAE. That would likely only happen if Air Canada flew daily from Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, to Dubai.
Meanwhile I think it’s very likely that Emirates will shortly announce a new daily flight to Montreal, which would put the UAE airlines at their flight cap (this assumes Etihad doesn’t want in on the action).
I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Air Canada add a Montreal to Dubai route several times per week. Keep in mind that Air Canada and Emirates don’t have a joint venture. So while they do have a partnership, they aren’t allowed to coordinate their schedules. In other words, the airlines can’t be secretly strategizing with their route additions.
As of late October 2023, Air Canada will be launching a new flight between Vancouver and Dubai. This follows an expanded partnership between Air Canada and Emirates, which no doubt makes this kind of service a lot more practical.
Emirates and Etihad have both also announced service increases to Toronto, and I suspect Emirates will shortly be announcing flights to Montreal. All of this additional capacity between Canada and the UAE is great for consumers, and should help lower fares.
What do you make of Air Canada’s Vancouver to Dubai flight?