Provincial Airlines-PAL, a Newfoundland-based carrier, has started a new route from the East Coast to Ottawa, with the inaugural trip scheduled for July 30, 2021. The first flight left the nation’s capital early in the morning and arrived at 1:30 p.m. at St. John’s International Airport.
PAL Airlines started service to Moncton and Fredericton, New Brunswick, from Ottawa International Airport this week. Flights from both locations will continue to Newfoundland and Labrador’s St. John’s.
The debut of the new service was marked by the presence of representatives from PAL and the airport authority. Provincial Airlines launched 12 additional flights in June to help fill Air Canada and WestJet gaps due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s decline in traffic.
Last November, the service was announced as an addition to its new Moncton/Fredericton route. The airline said at the time that it would be extended to Ottawa once travel restrictions were eased. The airline, on the other hand, was ecstatic to begin service to Ottawa.
Yesterday was the launch of our new flight connecting Moncton to Ottawa! Thank you to everyone who came out today to celebrate the establishment of this exciting new route to the nation’s capital. Stay tuned for more flight launch announcements today! pic.twitter.com/YsFL21LWun— PAL Airlines (@PALairlines) July 30, 2021
In a statement, PAL president Calvin Ash said, “We know how strong the demand for travel to Ottawa is from working closely with the communities we serve, and we look forward to working with the Ottawa International Airport and both of our national carrier interline partner airlines to facilitate connectivity and onward travel for our customers.”
As COVID-related restrictions loosen across the country and air traffic increases up, the East Coast carrier is the latest to increase service to the nation’s capital.
Officials at St. John’s International Airport said things are finally starting to seem normal as the first Provincial Airlines flight from Ottawa to St. John’s touched down on the runway on Friday. The inaugural flight landed with 76 passengers shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Friday, marking a significant day for Janine Brown, PAL’s director of business development and sales.
“This is a huge day for PAL Airlines because this is our first trip from Ottawa to St. John’s,” Browne added. “Many people who are here for business or to reconnect with relatives are arriving in St. John’s today. So it’s a huge day, and we’re really looking forward to it.”
She said the new flight ushers in a new era for the airline as well as travel in Newfoundland and Labrador. Along with other recently added local services to Moncton and Fredericton, the new flight intends to assist eastern Canada in reconnecting as traffic resumes to pre-pandemic levels. This is really propelling those planes forward, and we’re extending it even further now to create more connections.
Six times a week, a flight will depart from St. John’s for Ottawa at 4:50 p.m. Before arriving on the mainland, the flight will stop in Deer Lake, Newfoundland, and Moncton, New Brunswick. The Ottawa-Deer Lake-Moncton-St. John’s route commenced service on Thursday and will be offered three times a week, on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
Beginning this Friday, the airline will offer service between Ottawa and St. John’s via Deer Lake and Fredericton on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Morning departures from Ottawa and afternoon departures from St. John’s are available on both itineraries.
Despite the additional new routes, the Ottawa airport is still fighting to recover from the pandemic’s severe drop in passenger traffic. While the number of flights to and from Ottawa International Airport has increased in recent weeks, aviation traffic is still down by more than 70% from pre-COVID levels.
PAL Airlines is a privately owned airline situated in St. John’s, Newfoundland, having roots on Canada’s east coast. It is the second-largest regional airline operator in Eastern Canada, next to Jazz Aviation. PAL Airlines flies to 31 locations, including Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Ontario.