Arizona has long been a haven for snowbirds everywhere – even internationally. Canadians flock to the nice weather in Arizona during their roughest months, and now Sky Harbor is getting an increase in flights from Air Canada as a nod to the steadily increasing numbers of commuters from both Calvary and Vancouver.
With the increased numbers of Canadian tourists, Air Canada has bumped its non-stop service from Vancouver to Sky Harbor up to seven days a week from the previously existing four days. Also, they are going to use a bigger plane for their daily treks from Calvary, upgrading to an Airbus A320 that seats a total of 146 people – 132 in economy and 14 in business class. Both of these changes will go into effect this October and shows a trend to an increase in not only Canadians coming to Arizona for pleasure, but also for business.
Canada is second only to Mexico in business partner to Arizona, with Arizona exporting upwards of $2.2 billion in good to Canada annually. By upgrading to the Airbus A320 with an increased business class, Air Canada is acknowledging that the business transactions between Arizona and Canada is rising continuously. Phoenix’s Aviation Department Assistant Director Deborah Ostreicher stated that Sky Harbor let her know earlier in the year that the need for travel between these areas was increasing. She has pointed out that it is a good sign, but that there needs to be reciprocal travel from Arizona to Canada to sustain the increased Air Canada traffic.
These additions are good not only for the business traffic that has existed between Canada and Arizona, but for Sky Harbor. Sky Harbor airport has been making major efforts to grow both nationally and internationally. The management at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport have made major renovations and improvements to the physical airport as well as to the airlines and flights coming into and departing from the growing hub. They have been running a major campaign to grow their international flights, and it seems to be paying off.
In addition to these additions to already existing international flights, Air Canada’s low rate branch known as Air Canada Rouge started flying between Phoenix’s Sky Harbor and Quebec’s Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport three times a week. They have a direct flight to Heathrow in London, and are adding a direct flight to Frankfurt, Germany with Condor airlines within the year as well.