It has been almost seven years since commuters and travellers could fly non-stop direct between Moncton and St. John's. 

On Thursday, that changed with the inaugural PASCAN Aviation flight. 

An ATR42 was the aircraft of choice for the flight between YQM and YYT. The plane holds 42 passengers.

Among the first to take the trip were staff, paying passengers, several NHL greats, and those from the Moncton business community. 

Carol O'Rielly, CEO of the Moncton Chamber of Commerce, is originally from St. John's. She said the direct flight will benefit both ends.   

"If you look for the movement of merchandise between the two communities, it's going to make a huge difference," said O'Rielly. 

"Also, people heading out of meetings won't lose two days work, they can actually come in one day. There's a large number of New Brunswickers who work out in Long Harbour, so this is going to be great for them. They will have a direct flight, they don't have to drive to Halifax."

Keith Collins of the St. John's Airport Authority

Keith Collins of the St. John's Airport Authority. (CBC)

Keith Collins is president and CEO of the St. John's Airport Authority.  

"When the flight went away, we started hearing from customers to bring it back," said Collins. 

"So we have basically been working on this since the day it left. This will make flying so much more convenient when going to and forth from Moncton. We've heard very clearly from our market here in St. John's and also in Moncton — and in particular the business market — that the need for convenient access between St. John's and Moncton, or St. John's and New Brunswick, was very, very clear." 

The plane was greeted on Thursday morning by members of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, the St. John's Regional Fire Department and a swath of cameras. 

Travellers can choose from two flights a day, Monday to Friday, between the two cities.