Air Canada plans to launch non-stop flights between Vancouver and Dubai four times per week starting Oct. 28.
The airline plans to use fuel-efficient Dreamliner aircraft on the Vancouver-Dubai route, which will include flights out of Vancouver on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays slated to leave at 8:50 p.m. and to arrive in Dubai one day later at 11:50 p.m.
The return flights are scheduled to leave Dubai on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 2 a.m. and to arrive in Vancouver at 5:55 a.m. the same day.
The planes are set to be segmented into three service categories, including signature class, which has lie-flat seats. There will also be premium economy and economy seating.
The flights follow Canada's national airline previously launching non-stop flights between Toronto and Dubai.
"Dubai is one of the top destinations worldwide renowned for its extraordinary landmarks, rich culture and entertainment," said Mark Galardo, Air Canada's senior vice-president of network planning and revenue management.
In 2010, when Emirates Airline sought to expand its thrice-weekly Toronto-Dubai service and launch a Vancouver-Dubai route, Air Canada opposed the move, arguing that Emirates would pick up passengers from Canada and take them to third countries using Dubai as a stopover.
In 2013, then-Air-Canada-CEO Calin Rovenescu told BIV that allowing Emirates to expand to Vancouver would mean a loss of passengers for Canadian airlines without any reciprocal gain from new passengers coming from Dubai.
The Vancouver Airport Authority, however, has for many years advocated for such a route.
"Direct service to Dubai, with convenient onward connection to southern India and other key destinations across the Middle East, will provide new opportunities for travel, education and access to global markets that will help meet the needs of our community and economy that supports it," Vancouver Airport Authority CEO Tamara Vrooman said today in a statement.
Business advocates are excited about the new route.
"Direct air travel is the lifeline of modern business, allowing entrepreneurs to connect with clients, partners, and opportunities across the globe with speed and efficiency," said Bridgitte Anderson, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
"Connecting Vancouver directly with more destinations brings us closer, drives innovation, and encourages growth in our interconnected world. As such, the investment by Air Canada in this new route will certainly contribute positively to our region,"