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Transportation and Works
November 28, 2006

Government Optimistic About New International Flights

The Honourable John Hickey, Minister of Transportation and Works, is encouraged by the recent announcement that Astraeus Airlines � one of the UK�s leading independent charter airlines � will provide twice-weekly flights from Newfoundland to Gatwick, England.

"Government would like to see year-round service from our province to Europe but this is promising news and I�m sure it will be embraced by the traveling public," said Minister Hickey.

The province has been without year-round transatlantic air service since September, when Air Canada cancelled their flights.

The partnership with Astreaus Airlines was brokered by Brian Dobbin, chief executive officer of Newfound NV, to service Newfound�s Humber Valley Resort. The carrier will fly direct from London�s Gatwick Airport to Deer Lake on Tuesdays and Fridays, starting in January and ending in April. On return flights to England, Astraeus will stop at St. John�s International Airport to pick up passengers for the trip overseas.

"It is our hope that a carrier, such as Astraeus, will step up and fill the badly-needed void for year-round international flights departing St. John�s," added Minister Hickey.

"This service is essential for the development of the province�s tourism industry and our economy."

The Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, also welcomed the news. "I congratulate Brian Dobbin on securing this partnership between Astraeus and Newfound NV," said Minister Hedderson.

"It will certainly be beneficial to the Humber Valley Resort, which is a great contributor to our tourism industry on the west coast and it will also provide much needed alternatives for those traveling to England from this province."

The Honourable Kevin O�Brien, Minister of Business, sees this announcement as positive news in terms of business attraction. "Having a direct link to England is an important factor in terms of attracting business to our province," said Minister O'Brien. "It's important to support this initiative to demonstrate that the market for European travel is here, thereby encouraging additional regular service to and from St. John�s."


Media contacts:

David Salter
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 691-3577

Glenda Power
Communications Manager
Tourism, Culture and Recreation
709-729-0928, 728-7762

Jennifer Dalton
Director of Communications
Department of Business
709-729-7628, 693-2655


2006 11 28                              4:25 p.m.

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