Vienna International Airport welcomed back Air Canada passengers and crew on Thursday morning (July 22) as Canada’s flag carrier made its big return to the heart of Europe after more than a year of suspended service due to coronavirus-related restrictions.
Air Canada’s flight AC886 departed from Toronto on Wednesday (July 21) in the evening and arrived in Vienna the next morning at around 9 a.m. local time.
Passengers on board the full flight experienced the comfort of Air Canada’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which features a three-class configuration, 30 business class seats, 21 premium economy seats and 247 standard economy seats.
Vienna is one of many international routes Air Canada is restoring – this summer, the airline plans to resume at least 17 international routes and 11 destinations across the world from its hubs.
AC’s Vienna-Toronto service resumes with three weekly frequencies from YYZ with connections across Canada.
In a previous interview with PAX, Karim Rachi, director of network planning, international routes at Air Canada, said the plan is to progressively ramp-up service as demand recovers and, potentially, launch daily flights to Vienna by next summer.
Rachi is seeing two market segments rebounding as travel restrictions ease around the world.
The first, Rachi said, is the “VFR segment” (Visit Friends and Relatives).
“In this regard, Vienna provides great and unique connectivity to VFR destinations in Eastern Europe and the Middle East,” Rachi said. “This is thanks to our very close relationship with Joint Venture partner Austrian Airlines.”
The second segment is the leisure market – “and Vienna is among the best Europe has to offer,” Rachi told PAX.
The reboot is timely as Austria, on July 8, unveiled relaxed rules for entry and pre-travel clearance for Canadians, paving the way for a tourism recovery as COVID-19 cases decline and vaccination rates go up. (Click here to learn more).
Vienna, located in northeastern Austria on the Danube River, is shaped by an artistic and intellectual legacy due to the many famous figures who once lived there, including Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud.
The romantic city is home to some 850 public parks and gardens, 200 castles and palaces and more than 100 museums.
Armando Mendonça, president of AMPM, which represents the Vienna Tourist Board in Canada, said he was “beyond thrilled” to see Air Canada restore its service to Vienna.
The Vienna Tourist Board is running a campaign this month called “Greetings from Vienna,” which includes a personalized video message from the b2b Team at the Vienna Tourist Board and footage that showcases what awaits.
The Vienna Tourist Board offers many sales tools to keep travel advisors informed, such as “Vienna Experts Club International” (Click here to register)
There’s also a dedicated trade section on the Vienna Tourist Board’s website, which is updated daily. Click here to view.
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