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['A WestJet Boeing 737 arrives at J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport for the first time in May 2009. WestJet has announced a new daily flight between Sydney and Halifax.']
WestJet has cancelled its daily flight between St. John's, NL and Dublin, Ireland and replaced it with a non-stop flight from Halifax to the Irish capital.

Non-stop Ireland flight will now depart from Halifax, pre-booked passengers getting re-routed

WestJet Airlines has cancelled its direct flight between St. John’s and Dublin, Ireland in favour of one that departs from Halifax instead.

The airline says the Newfoundland to Ireland route was not performing to its expectations.

“This decision was not taken lightly,” a spokesperson wrote in an email to The Telegram.

“We understand this is disappointing news for the community and Newfoundland and Labrador overall and we are sorry we are unable to continue this flying in 2019.”

Any passengers already booked for a non-stop flight will now be rerouted through Halifax. The airline says it’s in the process of contacting affected passengers.

The Halifax flights begin April 29 with the final departure on Oct. 25.

“We are very disappointed with this decision,” the St. John’s International Airport Authority stated in a release, “but we will continue to work with WestJet to grow their services from our airport.”

The move is the latest in a series from the low-cost carrier this year. In January, WestJet axed a direct flight to London’s Gatwick airport and in August it dropped the Deer Lake to Halifax service.

Not long after, however, the Calgary-based airline added a once-a-week direct flight between St. John’s and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. will begin service March 11 and continue until May 13.

The company says it has made “considerable investments” in keeping the province connect to the rest of Canada and the world and insists it remains committed to growing aviation in the province.

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador said it’s concerned by the news, less than a year after Westjet announced a similar move with its direct service to London’s Gatwick airport in January.

“It is certainly a blow to the provincial tourism industry to lose another of our direct air links from Europe,” Hospitality NL chairman Larry Laite said in a news release. “A common phrase in the tourism community is that we receive no accidental tourists in Newfoundland and Labrador – it takes a concerted effort to plan a visit to this destination and ease of access to the province, whether by air, sea or land, is vitally important.”

As the Government of Canada develops a new federal tourism strategy to draw visitors from around the world, a fast and direct flight option from Europe to Canada, via Newfoundland and Labrador, is of great value to the province, the association said, adding travel to, from, and around the province, is often inhibited by issues of affordability, capacity, infrastructure and quality.

“We understand that these are difficult decisions made with a business lens on the situation, but nonetheless, we will continue to aggressively advocate for increased access to this province with our partners at the St. John’s International Airport Authority, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, and others across the province. Addressing issues of access and transportation is absolutely essential if any strategy to grow inbound tourism to Newfoundland and Labrador is to be truly successful,” Laite said.


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