Quoting directly from the press release – ‘Qantas today announced it will operate six direct return services between Sydney and Vancouver in January to cater for demand during the peak of the North American winter holiday season.’. These will be operating across Saturday’s and Wednesday’s as QF75 and QF76, between 3rd and 22nd January.
I’ve checked and there’s no outright points redemption availability on these flights, but I figured the route was unique enough to worth writing about – given the leisure focus on the northern hemisphere ski season, and the timing of the flights in January, I’d suspect that the loads in Business Class especially would be lower than the regular flights across the Pacific to Los Angeles and Dallas – and as such, there could end up being great upgrade availability on these flights.
The decision ties in with Qantas’ strategy to tie up with Westjet on a range of codeshares across Canada, and the route will be operated by a refurbished 747 with Premium Economy and Business Class cabins.
The lowest Economy Sale fares are eligible for points upgrades, and the cheapest I’ve seen these are coming out at around $2000 return, for the flights later in January. Business Class by comparison is around $9,000.
In terms of points upgrades, you’d need 45,000 points to get from Economy into Premium Economy, or 72,000 for Economy up to Business Class – both one way.
There’s no guarantees, but I just get the sense that the upgrade availability on these flights it’s likely to be far less competitively fought over on the standard flights to Los Angeles and Dallas, so if these flights match your travel plans it’s worth bearing in mind.