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Long haul travel to Europe is getting cheaper

Published: Friday 16 February 2018

By Adrian Bishop

Canada to Paris from just $199 CAD

Canadian airline, WestJet, is now offering direct flights between Halifax Stanfield International Airport and Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and Gatwick Airport in London, UK.

Starting on Thursday 31 May, WestJet will begin service with daily flights between Halifax and Paris, while the daily service between Halifax and London Gatwick begins on Sunday 29 April. In addition, WestJet will add one flight to Halifax from Calgary, Alberta, for a total of 15 weekly flights.

All flights will be operated on the airline's newest, most efficient aircraft, the Boeing 737-8 MAX. One-way intro fares from Halifax to Paris or London are available now from just $199CAD.

Ed Sims, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial, says, "As the carrier with the most transatlantic flights from Halifax, we are thrilled to announce our first foray onto the European mainland.

"Venturing to London and now Paris is an indication of our ambitious growth plans as we move towards becoming a global network carrier. This is an investment that will help launch new flights in the future and further expand our presence in YHZ – a key driver in economic and employment growth." 

Source: Nova Scotia, Adobe

Reflecting the growing Nova Scotia economy

Minister Geoff MacLellan, on behalf of Premier Stephen McNeil, says, "Nova Scotia has a growing economy and this connection is a tremendous opportunity to enhance trade and investment relationships, strengthen cultural ties and promote Nova Scotia as a great place to live, study and visit."

Joyce Carter, President and CEO of Halifax International Airport Authority, says, "We're delighted with WestJet's new routes to and from Halifax, as France and the U.K. are among the largest tourism markets and most important trading partners in Europe. Strengthening ties with strategic markets in Europe is good for inbound tourism, trade, investment and immigration.”

Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport, says, "We look forward to working with WestJet to launch this exciting new long-haul route, which will further enhance Gatwick's position as the world's busiest departure airport for low-cost, long-haul services.

"Halifax has lots to offer visitors from the UK, with its rich maritime history, year-round festivals and buoyant nightlife making it a must-visit global city. With Halifax also being one of Canada's main economic hubs, these new flights will provide an important link between the two countries' business communities at a time when worldwide connections are vital for the UK."

Source: Adobe
More choices from Canada to Europe

Meanwhile, Canadian-based Air Transat is making Europe more accessible by providing new domestic flights to and from Calgary, Vancouver and Quebec City to the hubs of Toronto and Montreal and onwards to 23 destinations in Europe.

Travelling from Montreal, Vancouver, Quebec and Toronto to Europe

They include eight new flights via Montreal to Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes and Toulouse (France); Brussels (Belgium); and Madrid and Malaga (Spain). Extra flights are also being added to popular destinations via Montreal or Toronto, including Lisbon and Porto (Portugal), Barcelona (Spain), Rome (Italy), Athens (Greece), Paris (France), Dublin (Ireland), and London and Glasgow (United Kingdom).

From Vancouver, three new destinations via Montreal will be added to Air Transat’s summer 2018 program: Nantes, Toulouse and Malaga.

Travellers from Quebec City will now be able to visit Madrid and Nice via Montreal, in addition to accessing more flights to Paris, Bordeaux, Brussels and Prague (Czech Republic).

Annick GuĂ©rard, Chief Operating Officer at Air Transat, says, "For more than 30 years, Air Transat has been the preferred holiday travel airline for Canadians flying to Europe.

"Our domestic flights are very popular with travellers, as they offer more choices and the flexibility to easily plan their dream vacations to Europe."

Low cost flights to Australia?

Source: Adobe

Budget airline, Norwegian, has pledged to grow its international network, with Britain at the heart of its operations – and is looking at possibly linking the UK and Australia.

A Norwegian spokesperson commented, “As an ambitious airline with a huge aircraft order, it's no secret that we have plans to expand globally. We recently launched our first ever route from London to Singapore that offers passengers an affordable springboard to the wider Asia-Pacific.

Our Singapore-London flights continue to perform well and the door is open to exploring potential ways we can cooperate with other low-cost carriers that would offer passengers onward connections to other parts of Asia, and places as far as Australia.”

Norwegian has just announced a new, year-round service of four weekly flights from London Gatwick to Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport, Argentina with fares starting from £259.90 one-way.

Low fares from Canberra to London

Meanwhile, travellers to and from the Australian capital, Canberra, can take advantage of return fares to London from just $889 AUS on Qatar Airways.

Singapore Airlines offers an all-inclusive trip to London from just $1,323 AUS, according to the Flight Centre website.

Flight centre ACT and NSW Manager, Dan Heathwood, says the fares are the result of an ongoing price war.  "I don't think fares have ever been this affordable, especially long-haul and demand is growing."

New KLM price alerts service

Flyers Down Under can get price alerts for bargain flares from Netherlands-based KLM.

KLM New Zealand just launched its Ready, Set, Fly promotion, with discounted flights to top destinations around the world. Return economy class fares, including taxes and surcharges from New Zealand to Europe start* at NZD 1,624 and in Business Class at NZD 6,213. Blackout dates apply from 8th July to 20th August and flights are via gateways in mainland China and Hong Kong.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines serves more than 265 destinations worldwide via its hub at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

It recently introduced a new Price Alerts service through Messenger. Quentin Voss, Country Manager for Air France KLM Australia & New Zealand says, "With Price Alerts we offer customers the opportunity to receive a personalised message in Messenger when a price of a ticket of their selected destinations drop below their desired price. With this service we are trying to provide the best possible service and enable customers to travel when it is their moment to fly, when the price is right!"

To learn more, visit social.klm.com/pricealerts/messenger or book the Ready, Set, Fly promotion by 30th March, 2018 for travel up to 30th November, 2018.
For more information, infographics and the latest currency insights, visit www.halofinancial.com/news