Air Canada to resume St. John's to London flights
Air Canada says it is restoring a daily seasonal direct flight from St. John's to London, England, starting next summer.
The announcement, just weeks after competitor Go Travel Flights laid out plans to start offering similar direct flights in June, 2010, was made Thursday morning.
Air Canada said its service would start slightly earlier than those being offered by Go Travel Flights, and the flights will operate between May 27 and September 26.
The airline hopes air travellers in Newfoundland and Labrador will support the flights enough to extend it to a year-round service, according to Nick Careen, Air Canada's vice-president.
The airline cut its air connection between St. John's and London two years ago, saying there wasn't enough demand to support year-round service.
Careen said the difference now is that the airline has improved its scheduling of flights.
"The arrival times into Heathrow and our subsequent arrival times into St. John's have offered for greater connectivity. That is the biggest difference in what was done in the past and this current proposal," he said.
Careen said Air Canada also believes the route is now viable because the worst is behind the airline industry, which has been stuggling economically in recent years.
He maintains the decision to resume the seasonal service is not an attempt to eliminate the competition.
"When we began to have this discussion in the early part of the summer, I had no concept nor any idea that this particular service (Go Travel Flights) was being proposed. They're ... not a factor in the decision at all," he said.
Air Canada will use 120-seat Airbus A319 aircraft for the flights.