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Air Canada Delays Launch of Haneda Route Due to Its Lower-Than-Expected Demand – Increases Narita/Calgary Service

February 7th, 2011
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Air Canada (AC)Air Canada (AC) on January 27 officially announced that the launch of its Haneda/Vancouver route which was slated for March this year will be further delayed. Due to the lower-than-expected travel demand, the airline said, after analyzing the supply and demand on its planned Haneda route, it decided that the launch of the Haneda/Vancouver route will be postponed until after the airline can obtain arrival and departure slots at Haneda Airport which enable its customers to make onward connections at Haneda Airport to regional points within Japan and also to Asian destinations. Many travel agencies have already produced the tour brochures featuring Air Canada’s Haneda/Vancouver flight. “It has a significant negative impact on the market,” commented one of the travel agencies. Last week Air Canada started visiting the travel agencies to explain the reasons for the postponement of the planned route. Meanwhile, the airline has begun to offer alternative flights to those passengers already holding reservations on the said flights.

Air Canada’s Haneda route had been originally scheduled to start from January 31 this year. The airline, however, postponed it until March 5 as it failed to attract enough passengers because of the inauguration being planned in the midst of the winter schedule and also because of its departure and arrival time using the Haneda’s late-night and early morning take-off and landing slots. Nevertheless, Air Canada, in concert with Canada Tourism Commission (CTC) and Tourism British Columbia, proactively continued to advertize the new route and carried out the promotion campaign. Apparently, however, the airline was unable to give a boost to the Haneda route contrary to the original forecast made. Other crucial factors for Air Canada may suggest that the Japan/Vancouver route basically has no big business traffic potential and besides, the routes to the west coast of the United States, including its own, have been expanded substantially both from Narita Airport and Haneda Airport.

Air Canada to Increase Narita/Calgary Service to 5 Flights per Week, Eying Its Year-Round Operations As Well

While Air Canada delays its service from Haneda Airport, it will enhance the current Narita/Calgary service to five weekly flights from three in response to the robust demand on the route which was introduced last year as summer-only operations. Ben Smith, the airline’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, said in the announcement, “Demand for our Haneda/Calgary route has been growing strong among business and leisure travelers as well as among freight forwarders.” In the future, he said, Air Canada will be eying full-year flight operations as well.

Aircraft to be put into service will be Boeing B767-300ER configured with 24 Executive First class and 187 Economy class seats. The aircraft cabin interior is renovated with lie-flat beds introduced in its Executive First class cabin. All passenger seats are equipped with a personal entertainment system. The Narita/Calgary flight schedule is as follows:

Air Canada Narita/Calgary Flight Schedule (effective from March 27)
Sector Flight number Days of operation Dep. & Arr. Aircraft type
Narita (NRT) – Calgary (YYC) AC010 Mo, We, Fr, Sa, Su 16:00 – 10:40 Airbus A330
Calgary (YYC) – Narita (NRT) AC009 Tu, Th, Fr, Sa, Su 12:45 – 14:25 +1 Airbus A330

Meanwhile, Air Canada said that it is also planning to change its aircraft fleet which is currently in service on its Narita/Vancouver route. Until the end of May this year, the route is scheduled to be operated by Airbus A330 and is to be replaced with Boeing B777-300ER after June this year.

Source: Travel Vision

Travel Vision Inc. provides information on the travel industry in Japan via "Daily Travel Vision", a Japanese-language e-mail newsletter, and the "Travel Vision" website. There are nearly 110,000 people working in the Japanese travel industry, and Travel Vision is proud to be bringing travel news to more than 30,000 people through Daily Travel Vision.

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