Air Canada renewing non-stop flights between Yellowknife and Vancouver

Travellers to the Northwest Territories will have the option of non-stop flights between Yellowknife and Vancouver, thanks to two daily Air Canada flights this upcoming fall and winter, the airline and the GNWT announced in a press release today.

Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment Wally Schumann says in a statement that these flights will cater to travellers from Asia.

“Particularly in recognition of 2018 as the Year of Canada China Tourism,” says Minister Schumann.

“Enhanced accessibility also means that visiting communities beyond the capital city will become quicker and easier.”

One non-stop flight, which was previously offered from December 2017 to April 2018, will return for the territory’s popular aurora viewing season, starting earlier in September this year, and will double for the winter season.

Benjamin Smith, President, Airlines & Chief Operating Officer at Air Canada says since launching the route last winter, there has been an increased demand for travel to the Northwest Territories from Asia, particularly Japan.

“As a result, we are strategically increasing our services between Yellowknife and Vancouver by resuming services earlier this season, doubling the flights this winter and extending service to year-round. Our flights between Yellowknife and our trans-Pacific hub at YVR connect conveniently to and from our Asia flights, and complement our year-round services from Yellowknife to Edmonton and to Calgary,” says Smith.

The seasonal non-stop flight will run from October 28, 2018, until the end of April 2019 with the following schedule:

  • Flight AC8841: Departs Vancouver at 8:35 p.m., arrives in Yellowknife at 12:05 a.m.
  • Flight AC8846: Departs Yellowknife at 7:30 p.m., arrives in Vancouver at 9:15 p.m.

Additionally, one flight will now be offered year-round, starting September 5, 2018:

  • Flight AC8833: Departs Vancouver at 3:30 p.m., arrives in Yellowknife at 7:00 p.m.
  • Flight AC8834: Departs Yellowknife at 7:00 a.m., arrives in Vancouver at 8:45 a.m.

Both flights connect from Air Canada’s Asia and the United States routes. The added flights were discussed during the recent China Trade Mission in response to the territory’s growing tourism industry.

“This is a great tourism success story,” says Cathie Bolstad, Chief Executive Officer, Northwest Territories Tourism.

“New Vancouver direct flights in and out of the territory added in response to growing tourism demand means our marketing efforts to grow tourism across all seasons and in international markets are strengthened and NWT residents also benefit from more travel options to the south year-round.”

Last year, the territory’s tourism industry reached records of $201.40 million. The 2016-2017 year saw 100,000 visitors to the territory, 23% of whom came to view the Aurora.