Air Canada has announced it is suspending its flights between Vancouver and India until September, as Russian airspace bans continue to disrupt the aviation world.
According to the Canadian flag carrier, the route has become operationally unviable since Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine led to the nation imposing strict airspace bans on many Western countries.
Outgoing Canadian flights will be suspended from 2nd June and returning flights from 4th June.
East-coast flights still operating
In a statement released on Wednesday, the airline said it would offer passengers the option to rebook on connecting services without any additional charge. Two flights between Canada and India will still be operated by the airline, departing from Toronto and Montreal.
Flights originating in Vancouver, on Canada’s west coast, usually fly westwards to reach destinations such as India. Without an option to fly over Russia, the route would now need a different path that requires a stop to refuel.
“The route is operationally constrained because of extended flying times and a refuelling stop that is required due to the current flight paths taken to go around Russian and Ukrainian airspace.”
To further compound the logistical difficulties, meteorological conditions such as summer monsoon winds across South Asia make routing flights more challenging still.
Competing airlines now hold advantage
As India did not impose sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, operators in the country remain permitted to fly through Russian airspace, giving its flag carrier Air India the now unique advantage of offering a fast and direct route between Delhi and Vancouver.
In the meantime, Air Canada insists it remains committed to the Indian market and “continues to monitor global situations closely” with the hope of reinstating its Vancouver-Delhi route as soon as possible.
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