Nfld. & Labrador

Charter flights to Fogo Island the latest offering from high-end inn

They aren't cheap, and they're for inn guests only, but the charter flights are part of attracting more American tourists, says a Fogo Island Inn rep.

Fogo Island Inn guests can get direct, charter flights to and from the island this summer — for a price

The Fogo Island Inn is one of three businesses operated by the Shorefast Foundation, a charitable organization on Fogo Island. (Jane Adey/CBC)

Want to go to the Fogo Island Inn, but don't have the time to stay overnight in Gander or line up for the ferry? 

The good news is that this summer, the inn is running charter flights between Fogo Island and Halifax, twice a week.

What might be bad news, depending on your household budget, is the cost: $2,000 per passenger for a round-trip flight.

"We put it in place to allow easier access to guests coming to the Fogo Island Inn from major cities throughout the U.S.," Pauline Payne, the inn's director of sales systems and reservations management, told On The Go.

A Beechcraft 1900 is a pressurized, twin-engine, turboprop plane. (airlines470/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons)

"In the past, guests would have to stay overnight somewhere prior to getting to us, and so we wanted to make that a little bit easier."

No time, but enough money

Many of the visitors who come to the inn are short on time, Payne said, which makes an overnight stay on the way to the island unappealing. But between July 9 and Sept. 9 this year, those who are not short on funds can save time by getting a charter flight to and from the island.

The flights, which will run on Mondays and Fridays during this two-month pilot, are aimed largely at travellers arriving in Halifax on flights from the United States, Payne said.

Those days were chosen to accommodate either three-day or four-day stays at Fogo Island Inn, she said. In the summer, the inn has a three-day minimum for guests, and the starting price for double occupancy is $1,975 per night.

The plane, a Beechcraft 1900 run by EVAS Air, can accommodate nine passengers for the Fogo Island runway, she said. Guests have expressed interest in a service like this, and the inn already has some bookings.

American tourists wanted

As of now, seats on the plane can only be booked by guests of the hotel. But Payne said the service is part of growing both the hotel's business and tourism to the province in the future.

"The tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador is growing all the time, and we want to make it better," she said.

The number of visitors from the U.S. to the Fogo Island Inn is increasing, she said. 

Access to the province from the United States has always been an issue, Payne said, and the flights can improve that for up to nine visitors, twice a week.

The provincial government is working to reach the U.S. market, directly targeting American travellers through the Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism.

"This is our little piece of the pie that we're trying to create and improve on," Payne said.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from On The Go

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