Air Canada will provide daily service between Sacramento International Airport and Vancouver, British Columbia, beginning next spring, marking the airline’s return to Sacramento after nearly a decade.
The nonstop service between the two cities is set to begin May 17 and will operate on a daily, year-round basis, the Sacramento County Department of Airports announced. Tickets are now on sale at www.aircanada.com.
Air Canada will operate out of Terminal A. Flights, on a CRJ-700, will offer business and economy class service.
Passengers traveling from Canada to Sacramento will clear U.S. customs before boarding in Vancouver.
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“Vancouver is a popular business and leisure destination that has been on our wish list for some time,” John Wheat, Sacramento County’s director of airports, said in a written statement. “We are happy to welcome this new international carrier to Sacramento.”
Air Canada last served Sacramento with service to Vancouver from June 2007 to October 2008.
Air Canada Flight 8042 will depart Vancouver at 8:55 a.m. and arrive in Sacramento at 11:06 a.m. Flight 8043 will depart Sacramento at 11:45 a.m. and arrive in Vancouver at 1:57 p.m.
“We look forward to welcoming onboard customers traveling to beautiful British Columbia for both business and leisure on our daily, year-round flights,” Benjamin Smith, president of passenger airlines at Air Canada, said in a written statement. “We’re also excited to introduce local area customers connecting onward at our Vancouver transpacific hub to our extensive global network to Asia, Europe and across Canada.”
Mark Haneke, air service development and marketing manager for Sacramento County airports, said Air Canada has been developing Vancouver as a hub for its international fights to Europe and Asia and is eager to seed those flights. Sacramento was the next logical airport to add in terms of market demand, he said, noting that the airline also serves San Jose and San Francisco international airports.
Air Canada partners with United Airlines in honoring customers’ frequent flier miles, Haneke said.
Because Sacramento-bound passengers will clear customs in Vancouver, the flights arriving in Sacramento will be treated as domestic flights and will use Terminal A, with partner United Airlines, instead of Terminal B, which handles international flights.
CRJ-700 planes accommodate about 75 passengers and offer separate cabins for business and economy class, Haneke said.
When Air Canada served Sacramento in 2007-08, it used planes that seated only 50 passengers, which made the flights very expensive to operate on a per-seat basis, he said. That, coupled with the economic downturn, led to the airline’s departure.
Haneke credited the strength of Sacramento’s regional economy and the expansion of Vancouver as an international hub for bringing the airline back to Sacramento.
Sacramento International Airport offers more than 150 daily nonstop flights on 10 domestic and international carriers to 30 destinations.
Sacramento International Airport celebrates its 50th anniversary on Oct. 21, 2017. See some vintage images from SMF’s history.