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Air Canada’s first Vancouver-Auckland service lands at Auckland International Airport.
The first Air Canada flight between Vancouver and New Zealand has landed in Auckland.
Air Canada flight AC51 departed Vancouver on Friday night, touching down in Auckland on Saturday morning, marking the start of four weekly flights operating until the end of March 2020.
The service offered Kiwis the chance to experience the Canadian winter, while North Americans could ditch the cold for a summertime Christmas, the airline’s vice-president Mark Galardo said.
Services between Auckland and Vancouver will operate four times a week until the end of March 2020.
The 13 hour Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights were timed to “conveniently connect” with flights departing Vancouver International Airport to North America, including Newark Liberty International Airport near New York, he said.
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The Dreamliners seated 214 economy passengers, 21 premium economy passengers and 20 signature class passengers, with the latter enjoying lie-flat seats.
The pilot was given a pōwhiri and wero (challenge).
Flights to Vancouver would depart at 2.30pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturdays from Auckland International Airport.
It was hoped the new flights would open up business and travel opportunities in Canada and New Zealand.
Aeronautical commercial general manager Scott Tasker said the service would contribute to growing travel and trade between the two countries, with connecting flights from Vancouver offering further further growth.
The first Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Auckland landed to a water cannon salute.
In 2018, 70,000 Canadians visited New Zealand while 34,000 Kiwis went to Canada, he said.
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