Canada’s West and East coasts, separated by over 4,400 kilometres of terrain, will be connected by a new frequent, direct flight service beginning this summer.
WestJet has announced plans to operate a new seasonal non-stop route between Vancouver and Halifax, with the first flight departing Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on June 29. The service will operate four times weekly using a Boeing 737 aircraft.
Flights departing YVR will leave at 9 p.m. and arrive at Halifax’s Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) at 6:34 a.m. the next day, making this a 5 hour and 34 minute flight to Nova Scotia. For return flights, the aircraft will takeoff YHZ at 7:25 a.m. and land at YVR at 9:46 a.m. the same day, which is more than an hour longer than the eastbound flight direction. Flights have been timed to allow passengers to connect with other WestJet flights at both airports.
This new route is the only non-stop service bridging Vancouver and the Maritimes. If there is sufficient market demand to support the route, the service could return again in 2017 or be turned into a permanent, year-round service.
“We are well positioned for success with the high travel demand during the summer season,” reads a statement by Lee Lipton, WestJet director of Network and Schedule Planning. “We continue to look for opportunities to better serve our guests as market demand permits.”
By the end of June, WestJet will be serving YVR with 65 daily flights on 29 routes, including: six times weekly, non-stop flights to Gatwick Airport in London, U.K.; four times weekly, non-stop flights to London, Ontario; and three times weekly, non-stop flights to Hamilton, Ontario. The new U.K. service will begin early-May while the launch of the two new Ontario routes will coincide with the commencement date of the Halifax route in late-June.
This will likely be another record year for passenger growth at YVR: New major routes beginning this spring will likely boost annual passenger numbers to over 21 million for 2016. Last year, the airport saw a record 20.3 million passengers pass through its gates – a year-over-year increase of more than a million passengers.
New and improved major YVR routes 2015/2016
March 15, 2015: Manila, Philippines and New York City, U.S.A. – Philippine Airlines adds four weekly flights to its route from Manila to NYC, with a stop in Vancouver.
March 29, 2015: Paris, France – Air France begins three times weekly non-stop flight service, with five times weekly schedules during the summer months.
May 1, 2015: Osaka, Japan – Air Canada Rouge begins five times weekly service to Kansai International Airport.
June 26, 2015: Kungming, China – China Eastern Airlines begins three times weekly flight service via Shanghai.
December 9, 2015: Mexico City, Mexico – Aeromexico to begin daily non-stop flight service.
January 1, 2016: Orlando International Airport – WestJet to begin twice weekly non-stop flight service.
January 20, 2016: Orlando-Sanford International Airport – National Airlines to begin two times weekly flight service.
February 15, 2016: Cancun, Mexico – Air Canada to begin weekly, non-stop seasonal service.
May 1, 2016: London Heathrow Airport – British Airways to use an AirBus A380 superjumbo jet for its existing daily non-stop London Heathrow Airport service. The A380 will only be used during the summer months.
May 6, 2016: London Gatwick Airport – WestJet to begin six times weekly non-stop flight service.
May 9, 2016: Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport – Air Canada to begin twice daily, non-stop service to San Jose.
June 4, 2016: Chicago O’Hare International Airport – Air Canada to begin daily, non-stop service.
June 6, 2016: San Diego International Airport – Air Canada to begin daily, non-stop service.
June 10, 2016: Dublin Airport – Air Canada to begin seasonal non-stop flight service.
June 17, 2016: Brisbane, Australia – Air Canada to begin daily non-stop flight service.
June 29, 2016: London, Ontario – WestJet to begin four times weekly non-stop seasonal flight service.
June 29, 2016: Halifax, Nova Scotia – WestJet to begin four times weekly non-stop seasonal flight service.
June 30, 2016: Hamilton, Ontario – WestJet to begin three times weekly non-stop seasonal flight service.
July 25, 2016: Xiamen, China – Xiamen Airlines to begin three times weekly non-stop flight service.
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com