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Canada - Getting There By Air

Canada has a number of international airports including those at Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. With a variety of smaller airports available the country counts more than 500 airports in total so there are many options available to you. If you are going to be living in one of the more remote areas of the country you will be able to take a connecting flight to the region from one of the international airports.

The country’s national airline is Air Canada and has one of the best safety records in the world. In addition there are a number of other airlines which serve Canada including Air France, Air New Zealand, American Airlines and British Airways. Air Canada is the largest airline in the country and carries more than 32 million passengers each year. They fly to more than 170 destinations across five continents and dates back to 1937 when it began life as Trans-Canada Air Lines. It became known as Air Canada in 1964.

If you are travelling from Asia then you are most likely to arrive at Vancouver. Air Canada is one of the main airlines here and operates flights from Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Other airlines in operation in this region are Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific. Most flights from this region will have a stopover in the US, usually at Los Angeles although some flights do stop at Chicago. Flights can take in the region of 12-15 hours, depending upon your starting point and a stopover can add a few hours to this time.

If you are travelling from Australia or New Zealand then you will find that a stopover is essential. The most frequent flights run from Sydney to Los Angeles and then on to Canada. Airlines operating on these routes include Air Canada, Air New Zealand and Qantas. You may also have the option of a stopover in Honolulu. There are also flight options with Cathay Pacific which mean a flight of up to 30 hours if there is a stopover in Hong Kong. Flights with Air New Zealand from Australia often have a stopover in both Auckland and San Francisco and can take up to 27 hours.

When flying from mainland Europe most flights will arrive at Toronto. Air Canada will operate most flights from cities such as Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam although you can also take flights with Lufthansa and Alitalia. You can also take flights with KLM from Amsterdam to Montreal, with Air Canada from Frankfurt to Montreal and Zurich to Montreal with Swiss Air. If you want to fly from Frankfurt to Calgary there is a direct flight with Air Canada and you can also fly direct from Frankfurt to Vancouver. During the summer months there are also flights on smaller airlines to the territories in the north of the country, but direct flights to these airports are limited in winter due to the weather conditions.

If you are flying from the UK or Ireland there are several options available to you. Air Canada and British Airways run many daily flights between London and Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver and Halifax. Flights from other cities in the UK include options from Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast and Manchester. When you are flying from London the flight time to Calgary is 9 hours, just over 7 hours to Montreal, 8 hours to Toronto and almost 10 hours to Vancouver.

As the closest neighbour there are literally hundreds of flights each week between the US and all the major airports in Canada. Flights to Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal can be taken on Air Canada, American Airlines, United Airlines, Continental, Delta and Northwest Airlines, among others. If you are flying from New York to Montreal the flight time is just over 1 hour, 1 and a half hours to Toronto and 5 hours to Vancouver.

If you are flying to be near the winter sports resorts in the country then you need to fly into Vancouver or Calgary.

Low-cost budget airlines are not in operation for international flights to Canada, although there are more low-cost options for internal flights. Finding a discount on a standard flight should not be a problem as many airlines hold regular promotions and sales.

Useful Resources

Calgary Airport
Tel: 403 735 1200

Montreal Airport
Tel: 514 394 7377

Ottawa Airport
Tel: 613 248 2000

Toronto Airport
Tel: 416 776 3000

Vancouver Airport
Tel: 604 207 7077

Air Canada
Tel: 1-888-247-2262

British Airways
Tel: 0844 493 0787 (from the UK)

American Airlines
Tel: 1 800 433 7300

National Car Rental Canada
Tel: 1 877 222 9058

Budget Car Rental
Tel: 1 800 268 8900

Alamo Car Rental
Tel: 1 877 222 9075

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners


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