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Popular connecting hubs for YVR pax going to destinations without direct flights (Delhi, Dubai, Singapore, etc.)

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YVR traffic has grown exponentially over the last couple of years (22 million in 2016):

  • AC is investing a lot after ignoring Vancouver for so many years (until 2013, the Vancouver-Heathrow route was a 767-300ER). Finally a YVR-FRA service (alas, summer only), additional 787-9 to Heathrow in summer, Rouge flying to some surprising destinations (KIX, NGO, DUB, etc.)
  • Traditional TATL carriers are expanding (BA A380 in summer, LH 747-400 replacing A340-600 in 2014, KLM going from 3 weekly MD-11 to 5 weekly 777-200ER, etc.)
  • A huge influx of Chinese carriers (Sichuan, Xiamen, etc.) along with pre-existing routes to mainland China being expanded (only a couple of years ago, most if not all YVR-PR China flights were operated by A330s or 767s--now it's a mix of 787-9s and 77Ws)

In addition, YVR got destinations it has sorely needed for some time now, or otherwise expanded seasonal routes to year-round/daily: Mexico City, San Diego, Paris, DFW, Newark, Denver, San Jose, Melbourne, and so on.

However, there are still a couple of destinations for which that Vancouver is lacking daily year-round flights. YVR-CDG, even with the seasonal AC service starting in summer 2018, is still not daily; KLM hasn't pulled the trigger on daily YVR-AMS (it's 3-4x weekly in the off season, 5x weekly in peak season), AC's YVR-LHR and YVR-FRA aren't year round; still no daily year-round service to Atlanta or Boston, etc. However, the focus of is this post is not U.S. or pre-existing TATL destinations.

The real travesty is in the underserved TATL/TPAC markets: Vancouver-Delhi is 3x weekly from October to April, still no direct flight to Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, or a myriad of other exploding hubs. The Middle East/Turkey are going to be the next big markets in the global economy, it makes little sense in my opinion why there are no direct flights to those regions. Meanwhile, Singapore is a huge business hub in Asia with a booming tech economy--YVR-SIN nonstops could give Vancouver's tech industry a real boost.  Vancouver didn't even have any flights to India until 2016, despite the region's large Indo-Canadian population.

So! When travellers from Vancouver are trying to get to an international destination where there are no direct flights (like Dubai or Bangkok), or only seasonal flights (like Delhi). Especially since Toronto gets daily flights to DXB, DOH, AUH, IST and BOM, while Sea-Tac gets double-daily Emirates flights! Does traffic to India connect through Beijing, Shanghai, HKG, Taipei, Narita, Toronto, Seattle? How about traffic to the Middle East or Turkey? Do they fly out of Seattle, connect through Europe, connect through Toronto? What are the popular connecting hubs for traffic going to Singapore? And so on.

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- BA used to have 2x daily B747 in the summer. 

- LH has used the B744 on and off.

- KL used to use the MD11 daily. B743 and  DC10 before that. 

 

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On 9/16/2017 at 6:30 AM, 9924 said:

- BA used to have 2x daily B747 in the summer. 

- LH has used the B744 on and off.

- KL used to use the MD11 daily. B743 and  DC10 before that. 

 

You're right, BA had a 12x weekly LHR-YVR schedule in the summer; the regular BA84/85 plus 5x weekly BA86/87. The summer flight was going to be switched to a 777-200ER when BA swapped out the main daily 744 with a 388 for S16, but BA ended up decided to scrap it, possibly because AC started its own seasonal daily 789 service between Vancouver and London Heathrow. (or maybe BA was running out of slots at T5). BA's previous equipment was the 747-200. In fact, BA's first foray in the PNW was in 1980, serving both Vancouver and Sea-Tac; by 1985, this had evolved into 2x weekly LHR-SEA-YVR and an additional weekly LHR-YVR-SEA, using 747-100s and -200s. Eventually (not sure when), LHR-YVR was spun off as its own route and continued to use 747 Classics and 742s, then by the late 90s started operating 744s in peak season to accommodate Alaska cruise ship passengers from the UK/Europe. At some point, BA switched to year-round 744s.

As for the nonstop flight to Sea-Tac, I don't know a whole lot about that, but here's what I do know:

  • When Heathrow-Vancouver was spun off as a standalone 3x weekly flight, services to Sea-Tac were switched to an LHR-SFO-SEA route that used the same equipment.
  • At some point, BA switched from 747s to L-1011s, but those were later sold off to the British military. Services once again used the 747-200.
  • Some point later, LHR-SFO became its own standalone route, and LHR-SEA switched from 747-200 to 767-300ER.
  • By 1994 at least, BA expanded LHR-SEA to daily in summer, possibly also to accommodate Alaska cruise ship crowds (since Seattle, much like Vancouver, is a huge cruise ship port). Winter frequencies remained 3x weekly.
  • By 1997 at least, BA started upgauging from 763s to 747-200s (and later 747-400s) in summer, to the point where there were 14 (!) weekly flights in summer. At some point this was reduced to 10-11 (I think 3-4x weekly for the additional summer flight) weekly.
  • In 2002, off-peak planes switched to 777-200ER, then it became 744 year-round, then starting in 2013, summer service became daily 77W/4x weekly 744.

There is a lot of missing information (for example, I can track down very few dates), but this is my understanding of how BA service to Sea-Tac has evolved ever since PNW routes were split.

As for LH, back in the 80s and 90s they used DC-10s (so did KLM, as a matter of fact, and as you pointed out, after the DC-10 came the 747-300, MD-11, A330-300, before the current 789), then after that, 747-200s, then after that a mix of 747-400s and A340-600s, then scaling back to A340-300s, returning to A340-600s and finally the 747-400s which we now have today.

While I could talk YVR spotting history for days on end, my question had a different focus: since there are no nonstop flights between Vancouver and certain destinations like Delhi, Istanbul, Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai, etc. (either that, or the routes only operate during a limited part of the year) what are the preferred connecting hubs or carriers that people in Vancouver use to get to said destinations?

Some time ago (6-8 years), most Vancouver-India traffic connected through Hong Kong (CX), Narita (JAL) or London (AC/AI *A codeshare); but changes in CX/JL timetables, Air India's financial death spiral, and the race-to-the-bottom fare competition from Mainland Chinese carriers flooding the market, a huge chunk of the Vancouver-India traffic shifted to MU/CZ/CA. And now AC has its own nonstop seasonal 3x weekly YVR-DEL flight (soon to be 4-5x weekly, maybe even daily in the coming years; though year-round is a taller order since mid-late April is the start of the hot season in north India/Punjab while June-September is the monsoon season across most of India (which means Vancouver-India travel falls off a cliff between April/May and mid-October)).

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Flying to India Most people have to travel to London or Frankfurt then connect , Ive also flown cathay pacific from YVR to Hongkong then onto India. I am surprised Air India and Jet Airways have not attempted to enter the YVR - India Market. 

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8 hours ago, dev161 said:

Flying to India Most people have to travel to London or Frankfurt then connect , Ive also flown cathay pacific from YVR to Hongkong then onto India. I am surprised Air India and Jet Airways have not attempted to enter the YVR - India Market. 

Air India with the debt they have now and the Indian Government trying to sell it off I do not see that happening for a while. Jet Airways would make sense and also help push Westjet to expand its YVR hub with transfer traffic.

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