MONTREAL, May 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada launches today daily non-stop seasonal flights between St. John's and London Heathrow, U. K. offering convenient connecting flights throughout Europe with its Star Alliance partner carriers. Air Canada will operate the only daily non-stop flights between Newfoundland and Labrador and London Heathrow until September 26, 2010.
"We worked closely with the local community and the Airport Authority to offer travellers in Newfoundland and Labrador the convenience of the only daily non-stop service to London Heathrow during the peak summer travel season," said Marcel Forget Vice-President, Network Planning, Air Canada. "With this improved schedule, we believe our customers in Newfoundland and Labrador will value this direct link to the U.K., as the fastest and most efficient way of making connections to several European capitals such as Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Vienna, Moscow, as well as Dubai. We hope the support for this route will enable us to operate it again next year and even extend it year-round. Air Canada is proud to serve Newfoundland and Labrador with safe and reliable air transportation since 1942, and we need the support of the community to ensure the success of this service as well as look ahead for new opportunities."
"Our community has strongly expressed their need and their desire for Air Canada to reestablish this important link to Europe. We are encouraged by Air Canada's confidence in the St. John's market and, with the support of the business community and the leisure market, we look forward to the continued growth of this service," said Keith Collins, President and CEO of St. John's International Airport Authority.
"Destination St. John's congratulates Air Canada on this decision and its expression of confidence in Newfoundland and Labrador. This service will open up opportunities to attract meetings, conventions and events that have a European component to St. John's. We all need to work to fill these planes with business and leisure travelers to ensure the business case on this route remains compelling," said Keith Healey, CEO, Destination St. John's.
"St. John's can now connect directly to a world-class business community in London, and realize opportunities in Europe beyond the U.K.," said St. John's Board of Trade Chair Derek Sullivan. "Through this service, we can enhance export and tourism activities on both sides of the Atlantic. Transportation links are critical to business success and our business community is prepared to take advantage of the markets that this opens up for our products, services and expertise. We look forward to a successful direct service, and to a long lasting connection with London via Air Canada."
"I am very pleased that Air Canada has recognized the value of reinstating this air connection to Europe," stated St. John's Mayor Dennis O'Keefe. "There is a real confidence in the St. John's and provincial economy over the past few years. With the impending major resource developments, expansion of ocean technology and the growth of St. John's as a host for international conferences, I anticipate there will be significant take up in this service."
Air Canada flight AC822 leaves St. John's at 21:50, arriving in London at 06:25, and flight AC823 will leave London at 12:35 arriving back in St. John's at 14:35.
At London Heathrow Air Canada offers convenient connections to points throughout Europe with its Star Alliance partners: SAS Scandinavian Airlines to Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo; bmi British Midland to Glasgow, Dublin, Aberdeen and Manchester; and Austrian Airlines to Vienna. In St. John's Air Canada's flights are timed to offer convenient connections to and from Deer Lake, Halifax, Montréal and Toronto.
The carrier will operate the route using newly refurbished 120-seat Airbus A319 aircraft in a two-cabin configuration offering a choice of Executive Class and Economy service. The A319 jets feature Air Canada's personal entertainment system with 8.9-inch wide digital in-seat monitors and touch-screen controls offering hours of audio and video on demand programming at every seat. Other features include in-seat power within reach of every customer.
Air Canada's new St. John's-London Heathrow service will complement the carrier's daily non-stop flights to London Heathrow from Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Halifax. In 2010 the carrier will offer up to 84 flights each week from Canada to London Heathrow.
With the launch of Air Canada's St. John's-London Heathrow service, Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz offer over 150 scheduled flights each week to 12 destinations across Canada to and from St. John's, including non-stop service to Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and London Heathrow, as well as same plane service to Calgary, Vancouver, Fort McMurray and Edmonton.
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international full-service airline providing scheduled and charter air transportation for passengers and cargo to more than 170 destinations on five continents. Canada's flag carrier is the 13th largest commercial airline in the world and serves 31 million customers annually. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 59 destinations in Canada, 58 in the United States and 60 in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,167 destinations in 181 countries. Air Canada customers can collect Aeroplan miles for future rewards through Canada's leading loyalty program, and Top Tier members enjoy reciprocal frequent flyer benefits including lounge and priority services.
In 2009, the readers of Business Traveler magazine voted Air Canada top airline in the following categories: Best Flight Attendants in North America, Best In-Flight Services in North America, Best Airline for Business Class Service in North America and Best North American Airline for International Travel.
Also in 2009, Air Canada was voted the Best Airline in Canada and the Best Airline in North America by the readers of Global Traveler magazine in an international survey of business travelers.
This year, Air Canada was named Best Airline North America in a worldwide survey of more than 17 million air travelers conducted by independent research firm Skytrax for their 2010 World Airline Awards.
SOURCE Air Canada
For further information: For further information: Isabelle Arthur (Montréal), (514) 422-5788; Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto), (416) 263-5576; Angela Mah (Vancouver), (604) 270-5741; aircanada.com