After 10 years, nonstop service between North America and Thailand will resume

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Thailand and North America will soon be reconnected with nonstop flights.

Air Canada on Monday announced that it will launch seasonal service on Dec. 1 between its hub at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). The service, on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, will operate four times weekly. The final eastbound departure from Bangkok is scheduled for April 17.

The westbound flight, AC65, departs Vancouver at 11 p.m. and arrives in Bangkok at 5:55 a.m. two days later, all times local. The eastbound flight, AC66, departs Bangkok at 8:30 a.m. and arrives at 6:35 a.m. in Vancouver. That flight technically arrives before it departs, a quirk of eastbound travel over the International Date Line.

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The new flight will be a welcome addition for travelers, particularly those loyal to the Star Alliance, looking to get between North America and Thailand. Most itineraries between North America and Thailand currently require a stop in East Asia, generally at Incheon International Airport (ICN) near Seoul or at one of Tokyo’s two airports — Narita International Airport (NRT) or Haneda Airport (HND). The timing of this flight — a late-night departure westbound and an early-morning arrival eastbound — allows for a maximum number of same-day connecting options.

(Screenshot from Cirium)

Air Canada’s new flight is the first nonstop between North America and Thailand since 2012, when Thai Airways ended its nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Bangkok, according to Cirium schedule data. Thai Airways also had a nonstop between Bangkok and New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) that lasted between 2005 and 2008. In addition, United Airlines operated a one-stop service to Bangkok via Tokyo Narita until 2014.

Review: Air Canada’s 787 in business class from Shanghai to Montreal

“We are extremely pleased to be launching our first non-stop service to Southeast Asia this winter, the only one between North America and Thailand,” Mark Galardo, Air Canada’s senior vice president of network planning and revenue management, said in a statement. “Thailand is a popular leisure destination for Canadians and this new service will give Aeroplan members exciting opportunities to both earn and redeem their points.”

Air Canada’s 787-9 features 30 lie-flat Signature Class seats with direct aisle access, 21 premium economy seats and 247 economy class seats.

Flights are now on sale, and round-trip flights in economy class in December cost between $1,366 and $1,404. Signature Class seats cost between $4,982 and $5,726. Aeroplan redemptions for Signature Class seats are incredibly high — at least for now — with round-trip options coming in at more than 500,000 miles. Economy class round-trip flights cost less than 100,000 miles, while premium economy trips cost less than 300,000 miles. Aeroplan is one of our favorite loyalty programs, as it generally offers competitive award prices and is a transfer partner with all the major credit card rewards programs.

Featured photo by Fabrizio Gandolfo/Getty Images

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