In a joint statement issued Wednesday, the boards of Newfoundland and Labrador Irish Connections (NLIC) and its transatlantic counterpart, Ireland Newfoundland Connections (INC), called on WestJet to reconsider its decision to discontinue the direct Dublin-St. John’s flight.
For the past four years, the flight operated May to October.
Last Thursday, WestJet announced it would discontinue the flight in 2019 because it was not performing to expectations.
“We add our voices,” the board chairpersons wrote, “to those of the mayor of St. John's, Hospitality Newfoundland, the Benevolent Irish Society in St. John's and the many others featured on Newfoundland media in recent days in calling on WestJet to reconsider their decision and to resume the direct flights between St. John's and Dublin next May.
“In the meantime, our organizations will pursue the question of engaging the interest of other airlines in serving this now well established and well supported route.”
The boards noted the direct flight “contributed greatly to the success” of the Ireland Newfoundland Gathering held in August every year, and alternating between being held in Ireland or in Newfoundland.