Air Canada Reduces India Flights

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.

air canada suspends flights to india giving air india unique advantage as it is not banned from russian airspace
Air India is now the only carrier offering a direct route between Vancouver and Delhi, using one of its Boeing 777s | © Allen Watkin

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.

What do you think of Air Canada’s decision to reduce its flights to India? Let us know in the comments below.

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Fraser Watt
Fraser Watt
Jr Journalist - Fraser was a Junior Journalist with Travel Radar, reporting on the latest industry news and analysis. Fraser is a new writer looking to expand his interests in travel and aviation.

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