Air Canada has inaugurated its first non-stop flight between Calgary and Tokyo, the only direct link between Alberta and Asia. Launch celebrations took place at Calgary International Airport Saturday prior to the departure of flight AC009, with local dignitaries including Calgary Airport Authority Chair Douglas Mitchell, Calgary’s Deputy Mayor Jim Stevenson, and Alberta Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation Cindy Ady among others in attendance. To mark the occasion, customers were entertained by Japanese drummers at check-in, while Geisha presented a customary Japanese tea ceremony. Air Canada President & CEO Calin Rovinescu and Calgary Airport Authority Vice President, Marketing Stephan Poirier each painted the eye of a traditional Japanese Daruma doll, symbolizing good luck for the new venture.
“Everyone at Air Canada, especially our Calgary employee team here are thrilled to launch our newest international route today between Calgary and Tokyo,” said Mr. Rovinescu prior to boarding the inaugural flight on a trip to meet Canadian business leaders in Japan, Korea and China. “Air Canada is now giving Albertans travelling on business or leisure, as well as freight forwarders non-stop convenience to a major Asian gateway. In addition, our new service to Tokyo offers a multitude of connecting flights with our Star Alliance partners to key destinations throughout Asia including Hong Kong, Manila, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangkok, Taipei and several points across Japan. With the support of the Calgary business community, Tourism Alberta and our travel partners, this is the first step towards building a year-round, daily service.
“Air Canada has invested significantly in the Calgary market over the past year, strategically responding to strong demand. Air Canada’s superior schedule, unparalleled choice of non-stop destinations, award-winning products and service and loyalty benefits through Aeroplan clearly make Air Canada the airline of choice for customers. With today’s launch of new non-stop service to Tokyo, we have introduced six new routes serving Calgary over the past year, including daily non-stop flights to Portland OR and London ON, summer seasonal service to Whitehorse YT and winter seasonal non-stop flights to Maui and Honolulu last December,” concluded Mr. Rovinescu.
Air Canada’s Calgary-Tokyo flights operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, departing Calgary at 12:45 p.m. and arriving in Narita the following day at 2:25 p.m. Flights depart Narita on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 4:00 p.m., arriving Calgary same day at 10:45 a.m.
Air Canada operates its Calgary-Tokyo flights with 211-seat Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft offering a choice of Economy Class and Executive First service featuring 24 lie-flat bed suites.