The announcement marks the first-ever offering of direct flights from Fredericton to Newfoundland
Isabelle Leger · CBC News · Apr 07, 2021
A Newfoundland-based airline will service the Fredericton International Airport with direct flights to Deer Lake and St. John’s, starting May 31.
PAL Airlines announced Wednesday it would offer three weekly flights to both cities, marking the first time Fredericton has ever had direct flights to Newfoundland.
“This is a long time coming… we’re confident there’s a demand for this,” said Fredericton Airport CEO Johanne Gallant.
“We’re really pleased to see that PAL Airlines is willing to take this on.”
The airline will also offer three weekly direct flights from Fredericton to Ottawa and Halifax, beginning Aug. 2.
Gallant said the addition of services is a sign of recovery for the aviation industry, which was paralyzed by pandemic restrictions.
With plans for the Atlantic Bubble to open on April 19, she said the flights to Newfoundland and Halifax will provide New Brunswickers access to some prime tourist destinations.
“We really see, for the summer, great leisure opportunities… people from here wanting to do something different and Newfoundland has such a great tourism product,” said Gallant.
She said the flights to Halifax will fill the demand for corporate flyers and students, which was left unserviced when Air Canada halted all flights from the airport in January.
- Air Canada to suspend operations in Fredericton
- Air Canada, Flair planning June 1 restart in Saint John, airport says
- WestJet expects ‘very high demand’ for flights coming back in June, may add more
No one from PAL Airlines was available for an interview with CBC News on Wednesday, but the company provided an emailed statement.
“We understand giving people the ability to get into and out of the region reliably and efficiently is going to be essential to the post-pandemic recovery,” said the statement.
‘We’re ready for these new airlines’
The Fredericton airport completed a large terminal expansion this month, which Gallant says made room for more carriers.
“Definitely having a brand-new terminal with lots of space for social distancing, that helps,” she said.
“With the terminal expansion project, we’re ready for these new airlines.”
Air Canada and WestJet have announced their flights will resume at the airport this summer.
Gallant said the airport is still waiting for an official response from Porter Airlines on whether it will restore its services from pre-pandemic.
She said it’s also hopeful that Sunwing will be able to offer vacation getaway packages from Fredericton by next winter.