Reinstate a direct flight from Newfoundland to Ireland

Reinstate a direct flight from Newfoundland to Ireland

September 7, 2019
Petition to
Minister Hon. Bernard Davis (Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation) and 14 others
Signatures: 3,110Next Goal: 5,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Niamh Redmond

This petition was created on September 7th, 2019 to bring increased attention and awareness to the fact that Newfoundland currently has NO direct flight to anywhere in Europe. This is an economic and political issue. A direct non-stop flight from the city of St. John's to Dublin takes 4.5 hours. Dublin is a gateway to Europe, and Newfoundland is the nearest point in all of North America to Europe. This impacts tourism, the local economy, trade, innovation, business, NL's ability to compete on a global level, to attract and retain talent, and communities, families and friends that are limited or unable to visit or see one another, not to mention the deep cultural and historical ties that bind the two islands.

While the petition is advocating for reinstating a direct flight to Dublin, Ireland, it also aims to highlight flight connectivity issues in Newfoundland including the lack of a direct flight to London due to Boeing groundings, and the lack of other direct flights to other locations including to North America; specifically the flight that used to fly direct to New York. 

This serves as a CALL TO ACTION to the Province, Ministers, the Government of NL, and others to focus on Europe and Ireland as a very important business connection, a tech industry and innovation opportunity, as a primary tourism target and destination, and to ensure that Newfoundland can compete nationally and globally.

In November 2018, it was announced that the direct flight from St. John's, Newfoundland in Canada to Dublin, Ireland was cancelled. This route provides the people of Newfoundland with a direct flight to Ireland - and in turn Europe - and vice-versa. 

The St. John's International Airport Authority said the launch in 2013 was the "most successful launch of a new route in WestJet's history." The airport authority worked very hard to get this route and are working very hard to continuously maintain and introduce new routes. The business case has already been proven. However, there has been very little action on the part of the Province and NL Government, and very limited or no updates since regarding what efforts and support is being provided to help reinstate a direct route, via other airlines - Air Canada or Aer Lingus, for example.

Many people were very disappointed with this decision. As one supporter has said, "environmentally, financially, and culturally it’s ridiculous to fly west to go east."

What are other people saying about this?

- The Mayor of St. John’s, Danny Breen says “re-establishing a direct air link to Europe is absolutely vital for the province.” He recently visited the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre and attended the SPE Offshore Europe conference — a global gathering of oil and gas stakeholders in Aberdeen, Scotland.
- A doctor currently based in Newfoundland wrote “I am unable to get home to see my family, considering ( as a doctor ) to leave NL for good.” Note: There are 1 in 5 people without a family doctor in NL.
- One person from the business community said: “Everything is impeded by this tremendous lack of access in and out...tourism...but yes all business... population growth... export... our voice at the table...competing from sports to spelling bees... exposure for all artists...our ability to advocate in Ottawa... everything.”
- Academics in Newfoundland, Ireland and elsewhere have also spoken out. One said “Completely agree a direct flight is needed, was such a shame to see it axed!”
- Regarding the lack of flight accessibility to/from Newfoundland in general, a technology leader wrote to me to say - “I don’t currently pass through YYT 6+ times a year, but I WOULD if we revived the direct to/from New York. I’ve gotten stuck overnight almost every single time I’ve gone through Toronto for one reason or another, turning what should be a 2.5 hour direct flight into a 12-18 hour adventure. I’m from St. John’s, but I live in New York and I work in the tech scene here. It’s also almost impossible for me to recommend that my American friends visit Newfoundland given how inconvenient the trip is. Personally, I’d love to be more involved in the tech scene home by coming home for events/speaking, but it’s just too complicated and risky for me to miss so much work with travel uncertainty. Not to mention the missed opportunity which is tourism interest here for Come From Away.”

This initiative is a marathon event. While it is a somewhat complex issue with lots of facets, it is nonetheless a problem worth solving. Each time this petition reaches a new milestone goal, the people that the petition is addressed to - including Bernard Davis-NL Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, Dwight Ball-Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Jim Kelly-Ambassador of Ireland to Canada, Ciaran Cannon-Minister for the Diaspora & International Development, Ireland, and Simon Coveney-Tánaiste and Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade - will receive a direct email notification to let them know that another goal has been reached, and they will also be notified of petition updates, via email and social media channels. Are there any other people or organizations that should be added to the list that this petition will be sent to? If so, please message or comment below.

So far, this petition has been liked/ supported/ shared by the Deputy Mayor of St. John’s, Kevin Vickers (Canadian hero, and former Canadian Ambassador to Ireland), singers Alan Doyle, Chris de Burgh and Damhnait Doyle, the Come From Away musical, actress Anne Marie DeLuise, the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival, the Féile Séamus Creagh-festival of Traditional Music and Song from Newfoundland and Ireland, Dan O Hara Homestead - the Heritage Centre for the history and culture of Connemara, the Liberal MP for St. John's East, the President-Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, O'Reilly's Pub-voted Canada’s favourite bar, Yellow Belly Brewery, the UnderBelly Speakeasy-Newfoundland's only Speakeasy, St. John’s Water Street, journalists from and contributors to The Irish Times, CBC and The Telegram, the Head of Communications for EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum - Voted Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction 2019, and many other people in Newfoundland, Ireland, and other countries - including Irish and Canadian expats, many small businesses, numerous practitioners and leaders in the technology industry - and many, many more! It has been reported on by CBC, NTV news, Rogers TV, The Telegram, VOCM and more.

Thank you for signing and supporting this! As a next step, please share this with your community and networks that are affected by this, so that a direct flight is reinstated between Newfoundland & Ireland.

We need direct flights to Europe and better access to our province overall.

✈️ Let’s keep going!

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Signatures: 3,110Next Goal: 5,000
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Minister Hon. Bernard DavisMinister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Jim KellyAmbassador of Ireland to Canada
  • Government, Newfoundland and LabradorDepartment of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation (TCII)
  • Larry LaiteChair, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador’s Board of Directors