All Nippon Airways Boeing 767-300ER lands at YVR on Sunday afternoon – Photo: Leighton Matthews | Pacific Air Photo
ANA – All Nippon Airways’ first scheduled flight to Canada landed at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on Sunday afternoon. The arrival of the Boeing 767-300ER from Tokyo International Airport – Haneda (HND) ushered in the option of a new airline and new destination airport for Tokyo-bound passengers who originate or connect in YVR.
Located on Tokyo Bay, Haneda airport is a short 15-minute train or monorail ride for passengers to connect to Tokyo’s extensive transit system. Haneda was relegated to domestic flights in the late 1970’s, when Narita International Airport (NRT) opened to serve international traffic. Although a new express train now serves distant Narita, many consider traveling between downtown Tokyo and NRT to be a time-consuming and expensive ordeal.
Looking to return HND to its previous status as Tokyo’s convenient gateway, a new International Terminal was opened in 2010. Initially, international flights were limited, and slot-restricted to middle-of-the-night arrivals, which wasn’t particularly appealing to passengers or airlines. Fortunately, HND opened up daytime slots in 2014, most beginning this week. ANA’s YVR-HND route is just one of many new international flights serving the airport.
BONUS: Touring Haneda Airport’s New International Terminal
AirlineReporter was invited to join in the inbound flight’s arrival festivities at YVR, and to fly to Haneda on the inaugural. As AR.com’s Vancouver-based correspondent, I was given this ’œplum’ assignment. But not without much jealousy coming from our staff in the Seattle area, including our illustrious Editor-in-Chief!
JAL 18 touches down at YVR Airport – Photo: Brandon Farris | AirlineReporter
In what turned out to be a beautiful Monday morning in Vancouver, British Columbia, reporters and the Vancouver Airport Authority greeted the airport’s first scheduled 787 service with Japan Airlines.
Banner welcoming passengers onboard – Photo: Brandon Farris | AirlineReporter
The conditions couldn’t have been any better for the carrier’s first arrival with the aircraft, as the skies were clear when the pilots flared the nose and gracefully put the aircraft (JA823J) on the ground 15 minutes ahead of schedule, to the delight of many who have been working hard on bringing the 787 to YVR.
Emily Fleming, Raptor Biologist with Pacific Northwest Raptors, and Goliath, the Harris’ Hawk, in front of YVR’s radar “golf ball”
Airplanes and birds don’t play well together.
Just ask Captain Sully and First Officer Jeff, whose encounter with a flock of Canada Geese turned their A320 into a glider. Or talk to the crews of the approximately 150 planes per year at Vancouver International Airport that report bird strikes. Flight safety can be seriously compromised, repair costs for the airlines are huge, passengers are often inconvenienced, and for the birds, well, it’s fatal.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is located on the shores of the Strait of Georgia, on a large island in the Fraser River Delta. And just like the passengers who connect at YVR, the millions of birds that annually use the migratory Pacific Flyway like to stop in the Vancouver area to get something to eat and have a rest. Boundary Bay, south of YVR and the location of the general aviation Boundary Bay Airport (ZBB), is an internationally-recognized Important Bird Area. Even the main Vancouver air navigation aid, the YVR VOR, is on the same island as the renowned Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary.