PEI

New York flight subsidy to P.E.I. fails

Tourism PEI is not pleased with the results of a pilot project to encourage more New Yorkers to fly to the Island on Delta Airlines.

Tourism PEI is not pleased with the results of a pilot project to encourage more New Yorkers to fly to the Island on Delta Airlines.

The New York flight subsidy was a low-risk pilot project, says Brenda Gallant. (CBC)

Government offered people a credit of up to $500 dollars if they booked on one of the airline's direct flights from New York to the Island during the summer, and fewer than 10 people took advantage of it.

The project was a partnership with Travel Impressions, a travel agency. Brenda Gallant, marketing director with Tourism PEI, told CBC News Wednesday it was the agency's role to promote the discounted New York to P.E.I. flight.

"How many other places were they promoting at the same time, were they actually promoting our destination as their number one offer to some of their clients?" she wondered.

"Those are some of the things we're looking at."

Tourism PEI is looking other opportunities, said Gallant, including perhaps working with a smaller agency.

A related program offering a $300 per person subsidy to golfing groups saw a little more success. Ninety-four people booking from the United States took up that offer.

Gallant said the project was a low risk pilot. Of the $75,000 budget only $33,000 was spent.

Direct flight under negotiation

Delta has been operating out of Charlottetown Airport for two summers. (CBC)

The future of Delta Airlines direct New York to P.E.I. flight is still in question.

The Charlottetown Airport Authority is currently negotiating with the airline. Airport CEO Doug Newson said he can't say exactly how many people were on the flights overall, but take up on the flights is getting better.

"I think there's room for improvement for sure, but the numbers have improved over the last couple of years," said Newson.

"It takes a few years sometimes for these flights to develop and get the word out."

Delta has operated flights from New York to P.E.I. during the summer months for the past two years.

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