Air Canada to start year-round St. John's-London service
Air Canada announced on Monday morning it would be starting a year-round, non-stop flight from St. John's to London, England starting in late October.
The company said flights will depart Monday, Thursday and Saturday starting Oct. 26.
Air Canada said a strong economy has created demand for service between St. John's International and Heathrow airports.
According to the company, a free trade agreement between Canada and Europe, along with tourism, increased the demand for business travel.
Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development Susan Sullivan said she believes the Canada-EU free trade deal had a lot of impact on Air Canada's decision to pick up the service.
"We've had many conversations with our business partners that we work with on a regular basis who have said to us, particularly now with CETA and the opportunities that exist there to be able to work in the world's largest market, that it's access to even just be able to do those business deals that makes a difference for them," she said.
In 2007, Air Canada cancelled service between St. John's and London despite a promise of seasonal summer service.
Air Canada picked up the seasonal service again in summer 2010.
Sullivan said the dynamic in the province is different, and she doesn't believe it's likely Air Canada will drop the service again.
"I think the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador is a different economy than it was when we had the year-round flight before, and I think even the tourism industry is a different industry than we had before," said Sullivan
"We're certainly busier, there's certainly more activity. Air Canada has done its work around the viability and the feasibility and they see the opportunities."
With files from Chris O'Neill-Yates