London Gatwick announce expansion of service to Canada, launches GatwickConnects

London Gatwick has announced the expansion of its long-haul routes with the addition of six new routes by Canadian airline WestJet, which will connect Gatwick and Canada with flights set to start in the summer of 2016.

The new low-cost, long haul routes linking Gatwick to Canada will fly to Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Alberta, Winnipeg and St John’s.

A spokesperson for Gatwick Airport said: ‘WestJet’s new services between London Gatwick and Canada are the latest addition to Gatwick’s long-haul success story. Flights to long-haul destinations are the fastest growing of the more than 220 destinations that Gatwick flies to today.

We are delighted to be working with Westjet and these new routes exemplify the choice and competition Gatwick has been able to provide travellers since BAA’s monopoly of airports was broken up.’

Separately, Gatwick Airport has also announced the launch of its new GatwickConnects booking service through which flights could be booked in one transaction. It also offers travellers the peace of mind that Gatwick will take care of passengers if flights fail to operate as planned.

Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport commented: ‘Gatwick is a competitive and innovative airport that can respond quickly to the changing way people are choosing to fly. We are uniquely placed to offer a service like GatwickConnects, due to the breadth of our route network and our diverse short and long haul airline mix.

‘This new service will provide outstanding choice for passengers, as well as genuine savings, and we will offer travellers a range of hassle free check-in, baggage handling and hospitality benefits while they are with us.

‘GatwickConnects is the latest example of the better standards, choice and competition travellers have enjoyed since BAA’s monopoly of airports was broken up. Gatwick remains the best and most deliverable option to deliver the runway that UK consumers need.’

Gatwick Airport has the UK’s largest route network, serving 11 UK regional points and 190 international destinations. Passengers travelling with easyJet, Norwegian and WOW will also be able to use the service and book flights through GatwickConnects.

London Gatwick and WestJet announces Canada-Gatwick service

London Gatwick Airport and WestJet have announced that they have reached an agreement under which the Canadian low-fares airline will launch flights between London and Canada, commencing in spring 2016.

As the low-cost long haul trend continues, WestJet has selected London, England as the first transatlantic destination from Canada for its wide-body Boeing 767-300 aircraft. The service is expected to open up the market between North America and London, providing cost effective access to cities in Canada for British business and leisure travellers, and also offer Canadian travellers new opportunities to visit Britain.

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said: ‘WestJet’s announcement that it will connect Canada and London is further illustration that the growth of low cost long haul will continue to be a game-changer, increasing competition and services for passengers.

‘As we near a recommendation on where the UK’s next runway should be built, it is clear that expansion must encourage the growth of this sector as it becomes more and more prominent in the market.

‘Gatwick’s expansion plan is more flexible, and will be available to all airlines and service all routes including the low cost long haul sector – it would effectively future proof the UK’s aviation market.’

WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky added: ‘London Gatwick is the ideal airport for our first transatlantic wide-body destination. WestJet needs more well-managed and efficient airports like Gatwick to continue to offer the best fares available for our guests. As we look at more international destinations as part of our growth strategy, we will look to airports who share our passion for efficient, low-cost travel combined with a remarkable guest experience.’

A leader in affordable leisure and business travel, WestJet will now add London to its list of routes. The schedule, fares and other specifics of the Gatwick service is expected to be announced later this summer.

WestJet launches daily direct service between Halifax and Glasgow

Canadian airlines WestJet has announced the launch of a non-stop daily service between Halifax, Canada; and Glasgow, Scotland, with same-aircraft service beginning in Toronto.

The inaugural flight on WestJet’s #TartanTail took off from Toronto Pearson on May 29 at 6:10 p.m. EDT with a brief stop at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, before departing for Glasgow at 10:45 p.m. ADT.

‘Today’s launch of service to the UK marks the start of another exciting chapter in the history of WestJet,’ said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. ‘As Canada’s low-fare leader for nearly 20 years, we have dedicated ourselves to liberating Canadians from the high cost of air travel. With our service to Ireland and the U.K., we are making it more affordable than ever before to travel overseas, whether for business or leisure.’

The Hon. Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, Government of Canada, commented: ‘By taking the initiative to seek out new opportunities beyond Canada’s borders and launching this new air route, WestJet is strengthening the historic ties between Nova Scotia and Scotland, and supporting our economy and communities by connecting Canadians to the United Kingdom and the world.’

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: ‘WestJet’s new Halifax-Glasgow route is a major boost for Glasgow, providing the perfect opportunity to strengthen existing cultural and business links between both cities. Canada is Glasgow’s third-largest international market with 37,000 trips made each year by Canadian visitors who generate GBP12 million for the city’s economy. There will undoubtedly be strong demand for this service, which has huge potential to deliver significant inbound leisure tourism.’

Mike Cantlay, OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland, added: ‘Canada and Nova Scotia in particular represent an exciting diaspora stronghold and a fantastic opportunity for Scottish tourism. Some 4.7 million Canadians have Scottish ancestry, with 24 per cent wanting to visit Scotland in search of those roots. The new WestJet route from Halifax to Glasgow presents a great platform for the tourism industry in Scotland to tap into an ancestral market worth up to GBP450 million over the next five years.’

Tourists and travellers flying with WestJet to Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, land at 8 a.m. local time, offering opportunities to connect via 30 airlines to more than 100 non-stop and connecting destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia. The return flight departs Glasgow at 9.30 a.m. local time, to reach Toronto at 2.35 p.m.

Scotland’s principal long-haul airport and a charter hub, Glasgow offers tourists the convenience to explore the idyllic west coast islands and Scotland’s wealth of lochs, mountains and golf courses.


WestJet announces new service to Glasgow

Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet Airlines has announced Glasgow, United Kingdom, as its newest European destination.

Beginning May 29, 2015 to October 23, 2015, the airline will operate daily non-stop flights from Halifax with direct (same-aircraft) service from Toronto, on one of the airline’s Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 series aircraft. Daily connections are also offered from Glasgow via Halifax or Toronto to Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and 16 other cities in WestJet’s Canadian network.

With the new service, WestJet expects to serve Nova Scotians visiting family and friends, and Canadian visitors looking for an exclusive Scottish experience, as well as British guests travelling to Canada.

Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Sales, Marketing and Guest Experience, said: This year’s launch of service to Dublin has proved popular with existing transatlantic flyers and with new guests alike, thanks to market growth driven by drastically reduced fares.’

‘Fares to Glasgow will be as much as fifty per cent off existing prices, so we’ll once again grow the market. Increased European operational and marketing experience is important as we count the months until four Boeing 767-300ERW aircraft join our fleet to further grow our network.’

Peter MacKay, Regional Minister for Nova Scotia and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, added: ‘Many Nova Scotians and Canadians trace their family roots back to Scotland and will be thrilled with increased ability to connect.

WestJet’s addition of this direct flight to Glasgow will not only strengthen economic ties with Europe, furthering opportunities for trade in concert with CETA, but will also strengthen significant ties to a country that has had a significant impact on Canada’s cultural, social, artistic, military and political fabric.’

‘We are delighted that WestJet will offer direct service to Glasgow,’ said Joyce Carter, President and CEO of the Halifax International Airport Authority. ‘This new route connects our region to a destination that has deep-rooted cultural significance for many of us, and takes full-advantage of pent-up demand for service to this market.’

WestJet will also resume its much popular service between St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Dublin, Ireland, on May 1, 2015, six weeks earlier than in 2014.


In-demand jobs for Brits looking to move overseas… with a few surprises

Brits looking to move overseas may benefit from the list of the most in-demand jobs in some of the most popular global destinations, which brings a few surprises along the way.

International relocation specialist Robinsons Relocation has released a list of the most ‘in-demand’ vocations for Brits wanting to start a new life overseas.

Based on data gathered from Robinsons’ 15,000 international relocations in the last year, the most popular emigration destinations include Australia, America, Canada, New Zealand and Spain. Robinsons has also mapped the most in-demand jobs, including some of the more unusual roles these destinations are looking out for.

While medics, engineers and professional services are in high demand across the board, some of the most unusual jobs in demand include bee keeping, wine making and cartography.

In Australia, the most in-demand sectors are currently medical (including doctors, sonographers, nurses, dentists) the professional services (accountants, lawyers), engineering & construction (architects, project managers, surveyors), as well as teaching, telecoms & IT, and skilled-trades. However, also in demand are roles such as cartographer, locksmith, shipwrights, lift mechanic, forester and stallion master. The average Australian wage currently is reportedly around AUD72,000 (£42,700), significantly above that at home.

Meanwhile, in America, the currently most sought after roles are for pharmacists, with software engineers, physical therapy and speech language pathology also in demand. And Canada is looking out for workers in the restaurant and food service industries, along with medical professionals and construction workers.

New Zealand is seeking agricultural roles, as well as construction, nursing, engineering and beef and chicken farmers. Among its perhaps more surprising roles required are bee-keeping, tree surgeons, and wine makers.

Spain, another popular destination for UK emigrants, is currently seeking professionals with engineering, customer service, IT, finance, online marketing, skilled trades, and language teaching experience.

Ian Brown, Head of International Moving at Robinsons Relocation, said: ‘Last year, more than 153,000 people emigrated from the UK, many of whom were pursuing careers overseas. Whatever you’re planning on doing for work, it’s worth checking out the latest Government guidelines for the most ‘in-demand’ skills and of course, going through the correct Visa procedures. And whether you’re a bee keeper, boat builder or bio engineer, Robinsons can help you move all your stuff and make the whole process simple for you.’

Air Canada’s suspends London Heathrow service for winter

Air Canada will suspend flights between Edmonton International Airport (EIA) and London’s Heathrow Airport for three-months this winter, according a report by the Edmonton Journal.

‘Despite ongoing promotional initiatives over the past six years, the Edmonton-London route has always been a challenge to be profitable during the winter months,’ said Air Canada spokesperson, Angela Mah.

‘As a result, Air Canada has taken a commercial decision to not operate the Edmonton-London flights between January 8 and March 28, 2014. The non-stop flights re-start March 29 with five weekly flights ramping up to daily on May 1 for the summer season,’ Ms. Mah said.

Heather Hamilton, director of communications and marketing for EIA, said: ‘We are disappointed. That flight is a popular route. We think it’s going to be missed.’

‘Air Canada is an important partner for us and we will continue to work with them,’ she added.

Travellers affected by the Air Canada suspension have the option of travelling with United Airlines non-stop from Edmonton to Newark, New Jersey, which provides Star Alliance connections to Europe, Hamilton said.

Air Canada launched three non-stop flights between Edmonton International Airport and London Heathrow in November 2006, following years of negotiations for year-round European scheduled service by the airport and the city. Daily flights began in April 2007.

Travel agents and frequent flyers are reportedly disappointed by the decision, but expressed hope that the airport will find other more favourable alternatives.

‘To get to Europe, there’s still lots of great options; but to London, it’s certainly going to add a leg and a couple of hours to that trip so it’s certainly unfortunate for frequent London travellers,’ said Stephen Petasky, a frequent flyer and president and managing partner of Luxus Group, a recreational and commercial real estate company with properties in Europe.

‘If we’re losing the Heathrow flight, ideally EIA will be able to pick up another flight to Europe in a more central hub that will allow for a better gateway to the rest of Europe. Maybe the loss of this will open up the door for another great opportunity for EIA that could be even better than Heathrow in regards to a hub to the rest of Western Europe,’ he added.

Old British fort in Canada offering spooky breaks

An old British fort in Canada, officially known as Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, is offering an opportunity for visitors to experience a haunted fort in the dark.

Tourists have the opportunity of interacting with spirits at the fort when the main gate of the Citadel is opened by a lone guard, who dramatically and stern-faced, welcomes guests into the fort at dusk. The fort is separated from modern Halifax by a drawbridge that isolates the estate, providing the perfect setting for the break.

The fort is offering ghost tours on Friday and Saturday nights until October 27, and year-round by appointment. The guard who welcomes travellers will take them by candlelight through the former fort’s artefacts, its ditches, ramparts, dark tunnels and prison cells. They are given an account of apparitions and unexplained happenings that are claimed to have occurred there.

The tour’s conductor says that the stories are true and that they are being presented after extensive research. The fort has 36 ghost stories in its eerie portfolio, and the list is growing. Tours begin at 8:30 pm at the venue’s front entrance kiosk and they last for an hour and a half. Those wishing to stay locally can book a room in one of several hotels close to the fort.

The fort was completed in 1856 and it is the fourth in a succession of forts to occupy the hill that overlooks Halifax harbour. It is considered a perfect example of its type. Today, it is one of Canada’s most visited national historic sites and even hosts weddings, dinners and Christmas celebrations.

Prince Edward Island should allow tourists to swim with tunas

An American author and educationalist has suggested that Prince Edward Island, a Canadian territory, could offer tourists a chance to swim with tunas.

Carl Safina, a professor who teaches at Stony Brook University, said that the island could benefit financially if authorities offer tourists the chance to swim with tuna fish, which can reach up to 500 kilograms in weight.

Safina was on the island this autumn to film a documentary, and was enthusiastic about his own experience of swimming with a group of tuna off North Lake.

This has led Safina to consider the potential that such programmes could offer to tourists. Safina said, ‘I think it would really change people’s relationship with these fish in a way that is similar to what people do on coral reefs. There are a lot of fish on coral reefs. But the big money is in letting people dive on reefs and letting them just see how the fish really are. There is an opportunity in Prince Edward Island and maybe even in parts of New Brunswick, to actually get in the water with these really, really amazing giant fish.’

Safina’s documentary was filmed in the name of conservation, as he has been lobbying the government to have the Atlantic blue fin tuna included in the list of endangered fish species. However not everyone is buying into his idea because tuna fishing is fairly entrenched in the area and many people make a living from it. The suggestion that tuna tourism could adequately replace the fishing industry is likely to be treated with scepticism.

Some believe that swimming in the waters with the tuna is quite dangerous because of the day-to-day activity associated with the fishery. A person directly associated with the industry said, ‘Divers could get caught in nets, and if there happens to be a person fighting a tuna on a hook and line, the line is zipping tight and it could cut through you quite easily.’

British Airways Announces Code Share with Westjet of Canada

British Airways, the UK based airline, will be partnering with Canada-based low-cost carrier, Westjet.

The airline is currently offering code sharing on flights from Toronto, Calgary and Montreal, to Ottawa, Edmonton and Victoria. Passengers flying to Toronto, Calgary and Montreal airports in Canada will be flying with the airline from UK destinations, predominantly London Heathrow Airport. The customers of both airlines will be able to book fares on each other’s websites and receive frequent flyer miles on code-shared routes.

Lynne Embleton, the director of strategy and business units for British Airways, said, ‘Our partnership with WestJet is great news for our customers. It will enable easier travel from Canada’s gateway cities to destinations that have been more difficult to access from the UK.’

Bob Cummings, the executive vice-president, sales, marketing and guest experience, at WestJet, said, ‘We are very pleased to announce our code-share relationship with British Airways. With an extensive worldwide network, and a reputation for great customer service, British Airways is one of the world’s most iconic airlines. We look forward to welcoming British Airways’ code-share guests on board our WestJet flights. The launch of this new code-share represents another strategically significant milestone for WestJet.

We remain committed to bringing top-quality airlines on board as part of our airline partnership strategy. The success of this strategy has contributed to the strong results we’ve seen so far this year.’

British Airways is one of the founding members of the oneworld alliance of airlines. The airline and its affiliates offer a network of around 170 destinations in 80 countries in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The airline has code sharing with oneworld member airlines, as well as with Aer Lingus, Flybe, Loganair and Meridiana.

Wyndham Garden Fallsview Niagara Falls Hotel Opens at Niagara Falls, Canada

The new Wyndham Garden Fallsview Niagara Falls hotel has recently been added to the portfolio of the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts brand from Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, a hospitality company with headquarters in the United States.

The 152-room Wyndham Garden Fallsview Niagara Falls hotel is located in the Fallsview district of Niagara Falls, Canada, and is owned by Canop Investments.

John Green, the brand senior vice president for Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, said, ‘We’re very proud to bring the Wyndham brand to Canada with the addition of Wyndham Garden Fallsview Niagara Falls, in a renowned North American destination for both business and leisure travel. This addition reflects our company’s commitment to expand the Wyndham brand in markets around the world where travellers seek convenient lodging, upscale services and the utmost in hospitality.’

The hotel is offering 37-inch flat screen televisions in rooms, complimentary wireless Internet access in public spaces, an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub, a 24-hour fitness facility, a business centre, with around 700 square feet of meeting and event space, an on-site Perkins Restaurant and Bakery, and an MJ’s Lobby Lounge.

The hotel is close to both Niagara Falls International Airport in Canada, and Buffalo Niagara International Airport in New York, US. It is also very close to the neighbouring Horseshoe Falls, and the American Falls, which make up the popular, Niagara Falls, tourist attraction.

The hotel room rates commence at £90 per room per night, and the hotel also claims to offer savings on advance bookings.