Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Go-Travel/Finnair flights announced for this summer are now "on stop". Unfortunately it looks like the announcement was made before everything was licenced. A spokesman for the Canadian Transport Agency said Go-Travel “... only has a licence to fly between Canada & Finland, and no application has been made for an amendment to authorize the new European destinations.“

Lets all hope that it gets sorted, and quickly, so that marketing and sales teams can start the time consuming task of generating interest in Western Newfoundland.

It should be remembered by all, that the big travel agencies planning what holidays and routes to sell, do their planning about 18 months ahead. So are currently planning out summer 2010, not 2009!

Western Newfoundland needs commited long term flight routes to allow travel agency companies (around the world!) to plan NFLD tourism programmes. Without the knowledge of future flight schedules from particular countries how can anyone sell a holiday to Newfoundland for that route?

Go-Travel's initiative is great news (when it actually gets the go ahead). But it's the long term commitment to flights that will really open up the tourism industry for Newfoundland. It's not about "subsidising the flights", it never has been. It's about making flights available so that travel agencies can sell the tickets and get people to the island.

We're ... Are you?

Hertz - closes Deer Lake Airport desk

Hertz car rentals has closed its Deer Lake Airport sales desk this week. Furthermore, there are various stories of poor customer services and cancelled bookings.

Its likely to be caused by the loss of the charter flight (Gatwick to Deer Lake), and the lack of tourist visitors in January ... and for the foreseeable future, or at least until the flights situation gets sorted.

So, more unemployment, and less local services. Not good for the province.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Heavy snow hits Humber Valley

As a winter visitor, snow can be a lot of fun or even an important requirement. However it's also a mundane nusinance when you're there throughout the winter season. At Humber Valley Resort owners are dealing with chalet decks covered in a metre of snow, as well as blocked driveways.

In previous years there have been a number of decks that succumbed to the weight of the snow and ice.

Here's the current situation at one chalet:

Thanks Ed Best of 'Best Property Management Services' for the photos.

Check the Marble Mountain webcam at

and the Marble Inn webcam at

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tour operator revives link between St.John's and UK

Great news for Newfoundland and its link to Europe ... Transatlantic flights are returning to St. John's, at least for the summer and early fall. Tour operator Go Travel Direct will offer weekly flights between St. John's and Gatwick Airport, near London, starting in late June.

There has not been a direct connection between St. John's and London — or any other European airport — since 2007, when Air Canada dropped its flights to Heathrow Airport. A charter carrier, Astraeus, tried in vain to launch a seasonal connection.

Go Travel Direct said passengers will be flying on Finnair. The service this season will run through October.

St. John's International Airport has been trying to attract a transatlantic carrier since the Air Canada pullout. Since then, travellers from the St. John's area have had to fly west before they can head east across the Atlantic.

Air Canada's decision came on the heels of a federal government policy that requires travellers to make a customs declaration when they arrive in the country, rather than in their destination airport.

That issue has been a priority for the City of St. John's, which has been lobbying for a return to a prior policy, which would allow travellers from other cities in Canada to remain on an aircraft during its brief stay at the St. John's airport.