Getting to Canada has never been this easy, eh?
Direct Air Canada flights between Vancouver and Brisbane have launched today.
Brisbane Airport’s International Terminal was awash with red and white flags, maple leaves and a giant snow globe, with guests treated to a visit by a Canadian Mountie and First Nation Calgary Princess in celebration of the arrival of Air Canada’s first flight from Vancouver.
The flight marks the beginning of year round, daily direct services between Vancouver and Brisbane.
Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO and managing director, says the importance of today’s launch for tourism, business and the city and state’s economy can’t be underestimated.
“Canada-Australia business ties are of increasing significance with our two economies sharing many major industries, like mining, agriculture and tourism, but complementing each other by operating opposing growing and tourist seasons,” she says.
“Every new international flight into Brisbane injects millions into our economy each year and it’s not just South East Queensland that benefits.
“Brisbane is a major gateway to Australia and we know that the majority of international travellers through Brisbane Airport travel on to other Queensland regions by road or via our extensive domestic flight network spanning every state and 42 destinations across Australia.
“Canadian visitors in particular are some of the longest staying visitors to Queensland, on average spending nearly a month here per person. Canadians are great at getting off the beaten track and having a wonderful impact on the small towns and destinations all across the state.
“On the flip side, a direct flight straight from Brisbane to Vancouver is great news for Queensland travellers with Canada’s famously rugged and beautiful landscape now a comfortable and convenient direct flight away.
“So a win for Brisbane Airport is a big win for travellers as well as businesses throughout the region and the entire state of Queensland,” Ms Alroe said.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones says the arrival of flight AC035 is a significant milestone for Brisbane and Queensland.
“We expect this service to generate up to $56 million for the Queensland economy and bring an additional 90,000 visitors to Queensland,” she said.
“This new daily flight is a strong vote of confidence for Queensland’s $23 billion tourism industry from a key international visitor market.
“These services are vital to growing the tourism industry by bringing people to the state, sharing our unique and amazing experiences and of course our incredible lifestyle.”
Canadian travellers to Queensland were up 12 per cent in 2014, with more than 140,000 Canadians making the trip, and the daily service is expected to further boost those numbers.
The new Air Canada service takes Brisbane Airport’s international network up to 29 destinations spanning the Middle East, Asia, the South Pacific and North America.