MONTREAL, Dec. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today announced that it will introduce daily non-stop seasonal service 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 service between Newfoundland and Labrador and London Heathrow between May 27, 2010 and September 26, 2010.
"For the past several months we have 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 in time for the peak summer travel season," said Nick Careen, Vice President, Airports, Air Canada in St. John's with airport, tourism and government officials. "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 are committed to look ahead for new opportunities with the support of our customers."
"After months of working with Air Canada, we're very encouraged by Air Canada's confidence in the St. John's market and their decision to offer a daily direct flight between St. John's and London Heathrow," said Keith Collins, President and CEO of the St. John's International Airport Authority. "Our community has strongly expressed their need and their desire for Air Canada to reestablish this important link to Europe and we're delighted that they've decided to begin the service at a time when travel between St. John's and Europe is anticipated to increase due to the development of the Hebron project."
"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.
"There is a reason to fly internationally in and out of St. John's, and it is because of the vibrancy of our economy," said St. John's Board of Trade Chair Bruce Templeton. "Air Canada has recognized a sustainable opportunity based on the current strength of our local business community and the positive outlook we have for continued growth and success. We have major projects like Hebron coming to fruition and a number that look promising for development. European air access is a vital link to new global economic opportunities that will help maintain our momentum."
"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."
"I am pleased to hear about this expansion of service between St. John's and London, England," said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway. "This direct flight will not only benefit Canadians, but will attract more visitors to Newfoundland and Labrador and support our local economy."
Air Canada flight AC822 will leave St. John's at 21:55, arriving in London at 06:25, and flight AC823 will leave London at 12:35 arriving 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 provides 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 33 million customers annually. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, providing the world's most comprehensive air transportation network for Canadian domestic, transborder and international travel. Air Canada aircraft offer customers individualized seatback in-flight entertainment systems with hundreds of hours of digital audio-visual entertainment. As well, customers can collect Aeroplan miles for future rewards through Canada's leading loyalty program.
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.
AIR CANADA ST. JOHN'S
By the numbers
- Air Canada served more than 700,000 customers in 2008 at St. John's
- Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz operate over 150 scheduled flights each
week to 12 destinations across Canada and one to London Heathrow.
- Air Canada offers up to six direct flights a day to Toronto, five to
Halifax, three to Gander, three to Montréal, two to Deer Lake, one to
Ottawa and one to Goose Bay.
- Air Canada operates daily same plane service to Calgary, Vancouver,
Fort McMurray and Edmonton.
- Approximately 150 dedicated and professional Air Canada and Jazz
employees work in St. John's.
- The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge with a seating capacity of 44 received
more than 44,000 visits in 2008.
- In Newfoundland and Labrador, Air Canada operates over 200 scheduled
flights each week, including one flight a day between Deer Lake and
Toronto, and Deer Lake and Montréal; four flights a day between Deer
Lake and Halifax; three flights a day between Gander and Halifax.
Across the province Air Canada and Jazz employ close to 200 employees.
In the community
Air Canada has served Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans since 1942, longer and more consistently than any other carrier.
Air Canada's community investment program Kids' Horizons manages a unique Hospital Transportation Program with the Janeway Children's Hospital Foundation. Since the beginning of 2009, Air Canada has flown 33 children from across Newfoundland and Labrador to medical facilities across Canada providing care not available in their own communities. Air Canada Kids' Horizons also contributes to the fundraising efforts of a wide range of local or grass-root charities including The Janeway Children's Health Association, The Burin Peninsula Health Care Foundation, The Boys and Girls Children's Wish Foundation, The Central Northeast Health Foundation (Gander) and the Canadian Mental Health Association - Division of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Air Canada Kids' Horizons, working with the Easter Seals Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, will be flying a child accompanied by one parent to the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic games.
Over the past few years, Air Canada has expanded services with the addition of several routes: St John's-Ottawa; St John's-Deer Lake; St John's-Happy Valley-Goose Bay (Spring 2010), as well as improved access to Western Canada from St John's with same plane service to Calgary (through Toronto), Fort McMurray (through Toronto), Edmonton (through Ottawa).
Holiday travel peak preparation
In order to meet the demand of high passenger loads expected during the holiday season (Dec 2009-Jan 2010), the airline has increased capacity with added frequencies or bigger aircraft between Halifax and Deer Lake, as well as on key city pairs in the East-West corridor between Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta, including one 211-seat B767 extra flight a day to each of Halifax and Toronto.
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