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Business Events Canada welcomes WestJet's launch of six new Canada–London Gatwick flight services

Six new routes launching May 6 and 7, 2016 are the Canadian airline’s first ever direct flight services between the two countries

MICE industry promotion body Business Events Canada has welcomed news that the Canadian airline WestJet is to offer flights to London, England from six Canadian cities starting in Spring 2016.

The new routes to London Gatwick Airport from Calgary, Edmonton, St. John’s, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg, which were announced last Tuesday, are the airline’s first ever services between the two countries and with the exception of the St John’s service they will all be served by the airline’s new fleet of Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

WestJet’s move is set to dramatically shake up the air market between Canada and Europe with prices starting from just CAD $199 (£97) for a one-way fare from St John’s, and the option of connecting to the six airports from other Canadian cities from as little as CAD $20 extra – less than £10.

Michele Saran, the Executive Director of Business Events Canada, said: “WestJet’s decision to offer flight services to London from no less than six Canadian cities – five of which are already served by Air Canada out of London’s Heathrow Airport – is fantastic news for the European MICE market.

“With the launch of these new routes, and Air Canada’s low­-cost carrier Rouge set to launch a Toronto–London Gatwick service next year, getting to Canada from the UK and Europe as a whole is set to get a whole lot easier for MICE buyers and events planners in 2016.

In addition to the increased choice, MICE buyers are also set to notice the impact of the new routes in their pockets, noted Saran.

Emma Cashmore, Managing Director of Axis Travel Marketing, which represents Business Events Canada in Europe, said: “Canada has always been known for offering great value and that’s truer now than ever, with the Canadian Dollar currently 25% weaker against Sterling than just two years ago. With the advent of these new affordable fares on key routes, and increased competition amongst the airline operators set to keep prices keen on others, the prospect of holding events organising incentive travel in Canada has arguably never been so affordable and attractive.”

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