Letter from Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO: Our Love for Vancouver
Oct 01, 2017

With its coastal mountain beauty, vibrant cosmopolitanism and temperate climate, Vancouver is justly ranked among the world’s most appealing cities. For Air Canada, it holds other attractions too, including an ideal location for our West Coast hub. We are seizing this opportunity and, through our international expansion strategy, significantly investing in Vancouver.

In the past five years, Air Canada has increased capacity to and from the city by an astonishing 60 percent, with 10.5 million passengers served in 2016 alone. This year, we launched non-stop services to Taipei, Nagoya, Frankfurt and London–Gatwick, bringing total destinations served to 66. Seasonal flights to Delhi resume this month, and we announced flights to Melbourne starting in December and to Paris and Zurich next summer. There have also been new U.S. routes to support our global network, including to Dallas, Denver, Boston and Orlando.

Such growth signals that, while Vancouver continues to serve as a pre-eminent Pacific gateway for North America, it is also evolving to include more European destinations. This makes it a truly international centre to complement our Toronto global hub and Montreal gateway, which are themselves expanding at unprecedented levels.

Vancouver benefits from being both a destination and a gateway with easy onward connections because air connectivity spurs economic activity. By linking Vancouver and, by extension, 15 other British Columbia airports directly to the world, we facilitate the movement of business people, tourists and, with the large belly capacity of our newest Boeing 787s, cargo.

Air Canada also employs more than 4,500 people in the Metro Vancouver area and spends more than $1 billion annually in the province. Economists estimate our indirect contribution to be five to seven times that – or $5 to $7 billion. Our employees are active throughout B.C. communities, and we support numerous charities such as Birdies for Babies for the B.C. Women’s Hospital Foundation, and Dreams Take Flight Vancouver, which has flown thousands of disadvantaged children to Disneyland over the past 25 years.

Our affinity for Vancouver dates back 80 years, when Air Canada’s very first flight took off from there. Today, it finds expression in our pride at being the largest carrier serving the city, with the most global destinations, and in our enthusiasm for the promise of its ever-expanding horizons.

The beautiful B.C. city was the takeoff point for our very first flight 80 years ago, and we’ve been growing together ever since.

Calin’s column appears every month in enRoute Magazine, Air Canada’s award-winning in-flight magazine found onboard all Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express flights. This edition is from the October 2017 issue.