Air Canada boosting Vancouver flights to Yellowknife due to growth in aurora-viewing tourism

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      Due to international popularity of the northern lights, Air Canada is boosting its nonstop flights from Vancouver to Yellowknife.

      One nonstop flight was previously offered from December 2017 to April 2018, and will be brought back on October 28 for the Northwest Territories's aurora borealis viewing season and continue through the winter season until April 2019.

      A second nonstop flight will be available yearlong, starting on September 5.

      Both flights also connect from Air Canada's Asia and USA routes.

      “Since launching this route last winter, we have seen a growing demand for travel to Canada’s Northwest Territories from Asia particularly from Japan," Air Canada airlines president and chief operating officer stated in a news release. "As a result, we are strategically increasing our services between Yellowknife and Vancouver by resuming services earlier this season, doubling the flights this winter and extending service to year-round.  Our flights between Yellowknife and our trans-Pacific hub at YVR connect conveniently to and from our Asia flights, and complement our year-round services from Yellowknife to Edmonton and to Calgary.”

      The announcement was made on August 8 in a joint news release by the Northwest Territories government and Air Canada.

      In response to growth in tourism in the Northwest Territories, the added flights were discussed in Beijing during a China trade mission in June as part of an agreement to promote Northwest Territories tourism in China.

      In 2016-2017, the Northwest Territories' tourism industry hit a record $201 million with over 100,000 visitors. Up to 23 percent of these visitors are those seeking to view the northern lights.