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Air Canada to launch Vancouver – Singapore non-stop flights

Airline plans to fill a void formed when Singapore Airlines stops flying the route in October
The iconic Marina Bay Sands building in Singapore contains a hotel, casino and long swimming pool on its roof | Glen Korstrom

Air Canada plans to launch non-stop flights between Vancouver and Singapore four times per week year-round starting April 3, the airline said today. 

It is calling the move a "strategic expansion," and its plan is to attract customers who are flying on to India and Southeast Asia.

Singapore Airlines is now flying the Vancouver – Singapore route three times per week but it plans to stop those flights in October.

The timing of Air Canada's flights is likely to be more appealing than the timing of Singapore Airline's flights for Vancouverites who prefer leaving on red-eye flights and having return flights that do not leave super early in the morning.  

Air Canada plans to fly its nearly 16-hour flights to Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) leaving at 12:15 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Those flights are set to arrive in Singapore at 7:10 a.m. the following days. The timing of that flight is ideal for passengers to sleep. 

Singapore Airlines' flights, which also take about 16 hours, now leave Vancouver at 8:40 a.m. on Thursdays, Saturdays and Tuesdays, and arrive in Singapore at 3:45 p.m. the following days. 

Return trips to Vancouver from Singapore on both airlines tend to be less than 15 hours because of air currents. 

Air Canada plans to fly that route on flights that leave Singapore at 9:10 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and arrive in Vancouver at 8:45 a.m. the same days. Singapore Airlines' current schedule has planes leaving Singapore at 7:25 a.m. on Thursdays, Saturdays and Tuesdays and arriving in Vancouver at 7:10 a.m. the same days.

Singapore's airport consistently ranks as the best airport in the world by Skytrax's survey of millions of air travellers and it is known for having efficient customs processing. 

Air Canada's Mark Galardo, executive vice-president of revenue and network planning, said that the flights help strengthen the airline's Vancouver hub.

"We are committed to growing YVR as a premier trans-Pacific hub, and Singapore is a top global financial centre, a multicultural destination that offers an abundance of tourism and food experiences, as well as an important gateway to beyond destinations in Southeast Asia, Southern India and Western Australia," he said.

"Our newest flight will be equally appreciated by international business travellers, as well as those seeking an exciting holiday destination, or simply visiting friends and family."

B.C. premier David Eby, who visited Singapore on a recent trade mission, called the flight announcement "great news."

He said the route would create jobs and opportunities. 

Greater Vancouver Board of Trade CEO Bridgitte Anderson was similarly excited about the business opportunities stemming from the year-round flight access to Singapore.  

"The new Vancouver – Singapore route will support additional trade and investment, drive tourism, and facilitate cultural exchanges – all crucial steps to growing sustainable and prosperous economy," she said.

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