Provincial Government Celebrates First Direct Route t
The Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, today joined representatives from the St. John’s International Airport Authority and WestJet to celebrate the announcement of a direct route from St. John’s International Airport to London Gatwick Airport. This flight marks the reestablishment of a connection between Newfoundland and Labrador and Europe – the first since 2019.
In partnership with the Provincial Government, the St. John’s International Airport Authority has entered into an agreement with WestJet to offer this route for the next three years starting in 2024. The flight will operate seasonally, three days per week, from May to October.
Air transportation is critical for connections to global and domestic markets, and delivery of essential goods, health and emergency services. It is an important source of employment and is vital for tourism and economic development in the province.
Air access remains a top priority of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and route exploration work continues. Budget 2023 included $1.5 million to support the development and expansion of air travel in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“This is a day for celebration in Newfoundland and Labrador. At long last, we have a direct link to Europe – a connection we helped facilitate, a connection that will unlock endless opportunities for our province. Thanks to our partners at the St. John’s International Airport Authority and WestJet for continuing to work with our government through the storm of global economic challenges.”
Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
“Together with the St. John’s International Airport Authority and WestJet, we have worked hard to make this happen for the people of the province. Air access is a lifeline for the travel, tourism and hospitality industries, and a substantial portion of travel to this province is by air, contributing significantly to our economy. I look forward to continued discussions and progress on air access to Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Honourable Steve Crocker
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation
“Enhanced air access benefits all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Air access is vital to creating an environment for businesses to innovate, grow and scale for global markets. This agreement will support economic diversification and business development to foster greater international market access for our energy, business, technology and innovation sectors.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons, KC
Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology
“The City of St. John’s welcomes today’s announcement and is thrilled to have a direct route to the United Kingdom once again. This announcement is not just about a new flight route; it’s about opening doors to exploration, fostering economic growth, and strengthening the bonds that connect us globally.”
Mayor Danny Breen
City of St. John’s
“Re-establishing non-stop transatlantic service from St. John’s has been a strategic priority for the St. John’s International Airport Authority. WestJet’s St. John’s to London-Gatwick route marks a significant air access milestone and demonstrates our commitment to providing passengers with convenient access to key destinations. We sincerely appreciate our provincial government’s continued support and advocacy for air access.”
St. John’s International Airport Authority
“Today’s announcement reaffirms our commitment to Newfoundland and Labrador, bringing to life our promise of bolstered leisure travel options in Atlantic Canada and closing the most critical air access gap for the province. Marking a new era of partnership with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and SJIAA, WestJet looks forward to delivering on investments that grow aviation and connectivity.”
“Today’s announcement brings a wave of positivity for the Newfoundland and Labrador tourism sector and, in fact, all sectors of our provincial economy. Access to the province extends far beyond transportation – it serves as a crucial economic driver – and the establishment of a new connection to Europe represents a significant commitment and investment in our future. The St. John’s – London route is poised to make a substantial contribution to our visitor economy, underlining the importance of this endeavor for our province.”
“This is a very exciting day for our province. A direct connection to Europe has always been a critical piece of infrastructure for our business community and we appreciate the efforts that have gone into re-establishing it. This connection will support NL-based companies across all sectors and industries doing business abroad and position our province as an accessible market for export investment and development opportunities.”
St. John’s Board of Trade