British Columbia

Air Canada suspends flights between Vancouver and Delhi due to 'unviable' route around Russia, Ukraine

Air Canada is suspending flights between Vancouver and Delhi due to the extended flight times and stops to refuel as planes manoeuvre around Russian and Ukraine airspace.

Airline will still operate up to 11 weekly flights to India from Toronto and Montreal taking longer flightpath

Flights between Vancouver and Delhi will be suspended until September. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Air Canada is suspending flights between Vancouver and Delhi, India, due to the extended flight times and stops to refuel as planes manoeuvre around Russian and Ukraine airspace.

Flights will pause on June 2. Flights leaving from Vancouver will return on Sept. 6, and those leaving from Delhi will begin again on Sept. 8. Anyone already scheduled to fly during those months will be automatically rescheduled on another flight.

The airline says weather conditions, in particular strong winds, are expected to make the route "unviable" during the summer months.

Jatinder Dadrao, who owns a travel agency in Surrey, B.C., says this route is typically very busy. 

"It's almost always a sold out flight because the traffic from Delhi to Vancouver is crazy," he said.

He said the flight is the shortest available at about 14 hours, direct, when they can fly through Russian airspace. Before Russia invaded Ukraine, it ran about five times per week.

Air Canada will continue to operate up to 11 weekly flights between Canada and India from Toronto and Montreal, both of which take different flight paths. But Dadrao says those flights are much longer, up to 24 hours total, and can be uncomfortable for passengers. 

"This is the shortest flight ... and they lose it for summer break," he said.

Air Canada says it will continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine and could reinstate the Vancouver to Delhi route earlier if conditions permit. 

With files from On the Coast

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