Canadian carriers restore pre-pandemic service to Spain

The Government of Canada recently announced the easing of restrictions for many Canadians wishing to travel abroad. The revised travel measures and policies will come into effect on February 28 and will mainly benefit fully vaccinated travellers. With this news, Canada’s largest long-haul airlines have resumed service to many destinations, with Spain being one of the key countries for summer 2022.

Canada’s largest airlines target Spain

Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga – Canadian airlines are eager to take advantage of relaxed travel restrictions for the upcoming summer season. Notes from Aviationline the following flights will include Canadian service to Spain:

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Air Canada

Air Canada will begin service from Toronto to Barcelona from May 4 with a frequency of five flights per week (Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Using an Airbus A330-300, the flight details are as follows:

  • AC820 YYZ 8:10 p.m. – BCN 10:05 a.m.+1
  • AC821 BCN 11:45 a.m. – YYZ 3:00 p.m.

From May 6, the airline will resume operations between Montreal and Barcelona with five flights per week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday). These flights will also use the Airbus A330-300:

  • AC822 YUL 19:00 – BCN 08:20+1
  • AC823 BCN 1:15 p.m. – YUL 3:50 p.m.

Finally, for the national company, May 19 will see a resumption of year-round service between Toronto and Madrid. Again, this will have a weekly frequency five times (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday) using the Airbus A330-300:

  • AC820 YYZ 9:40 p.m. – MAD 11:05 a.m.+1
  • AC821 MAD 12:45 p.m. – YYZ 3:20 p.m.

A330-300-2

Montreal and Toronto will be the two Canadian cities serving Spain for Air Canada. Photo: Air Canada

WestJet

Relatively new to the transatlantic market, the second Canadian carrier will only offer one service to Spain. Steal from Toronto to Barcelona, the airline has planned a frequency of three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday) with a launch date of June 7. Using WestJet’s flagship Boeing 787-9, flights will eventually increase to four times a week, with additional service on Fridays.

  • WS14 YYZ 10:15 p.m. – BCN 11:50 a.m.+1
  • WS15 BCN 1:50 p.m. – YYZ 4:30 p.m.

WestJet 787

WestJet’s primary long-haul aircraft is the Boeing 787-9. Photo: WestJet

Air Transat

Almost bought by Air Canada in a long and laborious process between 2019 and 2021, the Quebec leisure operator will remain independent and compete with its fellow Canadian rivals. The airline will see a number of services to Spain.

One of the first services to resume, Air Transat will connect Montreal to Madrid from April 5 with its relatively new Airbus A321LR. Starting with a once-a-week service on Tuesdays, this will increase further over the summer. From June 12, this will increase to three times a week with additional services on Friday and Sunday:

  • Flight TS254 YUL 9:50 p.m. – MAD 10:45 a.m.+1
  • Flight TS261 MAD 12:30 p.m. – YUL 2:30 p.m.

Air Transat will also operate flights between Montreal and Barcelona from April 13. Using the Airbus A330-200, it will have a weekly frequency with flights on Wednesdays. However, this will increase to three times a week from June 7, operating Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


  • TS260 YUL 10:00 p.m. – BCN 11:15 a.m.+1
  • TS261 BCN 1:15 p.m. – YUL 3:40 p.m.

fly between Toronto and Barcelona, Air Transat will launch seasonal service starting May 3. The latter will see a modest frequency of two flights per week (Tuesday and Saturday) using its Airbus A330-200.

  • Flight TS248 YYZ 10:35 p.m. – BCN 12:25 p.m.+1
  • Flight TS249 BCN 2:05 p.m. – YYZ 5:15 p.m.

Finally, for Air Transat, we have an exclusive leisure connection between Montreal and Malaga. This year-round service is actually already in flight. Using the Airbus A321LR this sees a frequency of twice a week (Tuesday and Saturday). While the frequency is expected to remain constant, the airline is expected to increase the plane’s size to an Airbus A330-200 in June.

  • Flight TS384 YUL 11:40 p.m. – AGP 12:40 p.m.+1
  • Flight TS385 AGP 2:25 p.m. – YUL 4:20 p.m.

Good news for airlines

Canadian carriers were quick to respond to positive news from Ottawa last week. Angela Avery, WestJet’s executive vice president of external affairs, called for the removal of travel barriers for fully immunized travelers and families “a positive step forward for our industry”, adding that the airline “has tirelessly advocated for these changes” on behalf of its hosts and communities.

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At the country’s largest carrier, Mark Galardo, senior vice president of network planning and revenue management at Air Canada, called the news “very exciting” for airline customers. Galardo went on to say: “especially now that Omicron is behind us, countries are reopening and border measures are being relaxed around the world for fully vaccinated travellers.”

Starting next week, fully vaccinated travelers returning (or arriving) to Canada need only submit a rapid antigen test rather than the more expensive PCR test.

Will you be flying between Canada and Spain in the coming months? Share your plans by leaving a comment.


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