St. John's-Dublin route creates more access for N.L. to Europe

A Canadian airline is sending its inaugural transatlantic flight out of St. John's to Dublin, Ireland on Sunday, and some travellers are hoping this route will open the province up to the rest of Europe.
Westjet is looking at possibly expanding into other European markets, following the success of its first transatlantic route travelling from St. John's, N.L. to Dublin, Ireland. (Kyle Bakx/CBC)

A Canadian airline is sending its inaugural transatlantic flight out of St. John's to Dublin, Ireland on Sunday, and some travellers are hoping this route will open the province up to the rest of Europe.

WestJet announced plans for a non-stop flight from St. John's to Dublin — a four-hour flight — last year.

St. John's resident Rochelle Baker, whose husband flies frequently to Ireland to visit his parents, said this new route could create a more competitive market, saving Newfoundland and Labrador families a lot of money.

Baker scooped up the $400 tickets when WestJet first opened up a seat sale on the flight, meaning her family is saving not just money, but also lots of time.
WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky says he was blown away at the huge customer response to the St. John's-Dublin service. (CBC)

"Travelling anywhere from Newfoundland is always challenging … and in terms of cost and time, you often have to book extra vacation time just to make the trip happen because it takes so long to get off this island and to get over there," said Baker.

"A direct flight into Dublin is great because Dublin is now becoming a hub for the rest of Europe, and this will facilitate travel all over the place for us, which is great."

WestJet also launched a direct Toronto-Dublin route, and airline CEO Gregg Saretsky said the company has more expansion plans.

"We always have to hold back from blurting them out lest somebody else gets there first, but suffice it to say, we have a globe in the office that has a lot of pins on it, and it's only a matter of time before more of them receive WestJet service," said Saretsky.

With European expansion plans from both Air Canada and WestJet, two of Canada's major airline service, Canadian travellers are getting what they want most: more competition.

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