Nov. 26, 2008
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The first year of the U.K. to New Brunswick direct flight was a success, with just over 2,100 people visiting Fredericton, and a comparable number landing in Gatwick, U.K., over the 26-week prime tourism season.
"The United Kingdom represents New Brunswick's largest overseas tourism market in terms of revenues and visitors, with about 14,600 annual visitors who spend more than $6.5 million in our province," said Tourism and Parks Minister Stuart Jamieson. "Having this direct flight between Fredericton and London has made New Brunswick even more accessible to this important market, and has enhanced the knowledge of our province as a visitor destination. I am pleased by the success of the flight in 2008, and I hope even more people take advantage of this tremendous service to travel to New Brunswick in the coming year."
Tickets for a direct U.K. to Fredericton flight from May to October, 2009, are now being sold by Canadian Affair, the U.K.'s largest tour operator.
"This flight has been a great success and could not have been accomplished without the support of the province and the community," said David Innes, president and CEO of the Greater Fredericton Airport Authority. "Passenger traffic generated by this flight was twice that which had been projected. This is an important link for the region, and we look forward to next year's program."
"Not only does this flight provide New Brunswickers with lower-cost travel to the U.K. and Europe, but direct air access to Britain has provided real tourism growth opportunities at a time when many of our traditional markets are under stress," said David Seabrook, manager of Fredericton Tourism. "These are high-yield consumers who are staying longer and spending more. They've had a significant impact on tourism."
The flight is managed by Canadian Affair, which specializes in leisure flights and vacations to Canada. Canadian Affair is a subsidiary of Transat A.T. Inc., an integrated international tour operator with more than 60 destination countries. With its air partners, Canadian Affair serves eight Canadian destinations in the summer, from 10 U.K. airports, with a choice of over 75 flights per week.
"Canadian Affair was the first tour operator to bring direct flights from the U.K. to New Brunswick and we have launched 2009 flights for sale," said Kathryn Munro, communication and marketing director for Canadian Affair. "It is essential that we build on the passenger numbers along with the recognition of this incredibly beautiful province as a holiday destination. New Brunswick is relatively unknown in the U.K., outside of the visiting friends and family market, and we have opened this up this year with direct low-cost access. Tourism has already seen many benefits from this flight, and together with the province, City of Fredericton and Fredericton Airport, further effort is required to increase the awareness of this holiday destination."
The London-Fredericton flights were made possible through a partnership between Canadian Affair, the Greater Fredericton Airport Authority, the City of Fredericton and the Province of New Brunswick.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Alison Aiton, communications, Tourism and Parks, 506-444-4454; Melodie Beal, marketing and public relations manager, Greater Fredericton Airport Authority, 506-460-0926; Dave Seabrook, City of Fredericton, 506-460-2089.