The Crowded North-Atlantic Skies

Add Canada’s WestJet to the growing list of low-fare airlines heading from North America to Europe next summer.

Add Canada’s WestJet to the growing list of low-fare airlines heading from North America to Europe next summer.

Daily flights will operate Toronto-St. John’s (Newfoundland)-Dublin from June 15 through October 5. WestJet is featuring through fares from other Canadian cities with connecting schedules at Toronto and St. John’s, and it highlights the extensive available onward European flights on Ryanair. It will use 737-700s with its regular configuration of tight regular economy and “plus” seats with a few extra inches of legroom and improved cabin service.

Introductory fares, available through December 4, start at $900 CAD for round-trip flights in July. By comparison, Expedia currently shows the lowest Toronto-Dublin fare at $1,035 CAD for that time period. But you can expect some changes as the competition increases: Air Canada’s Rouge and Aer Lingus will both fly Toronto-Dublin nonstop this summer.

The new service will be much faster than any competitive service from much of Eastern Canada—especially the Maritime Provinces. But with its uncomfortable 737 planes, the stop in Newfoundland, and the very short four-plus-hour overnight flight time to Ireland, WestJet will have to undercut the other airlines’ nonstop fares by a substantial margin to attract many Toronto travelers.

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By Ed Perkins

A nationally recognized reporter, writer, and consumer advocate, Ed Perkins focuses on how travelers can find the best deals and avoid scams.

He is the author of "Online Travel" (2000) and "Business Travel: When It's Your Money" (2004), the first step-by-step guide specifically written for small business and self-employed professional travelers. He was also the co-author of the annual "Best Travel Deals" series from Consumers Union.

Perkins' advice for business travelers is featured on MyBusinessTravel.com, a website devoted to helping small business and self-employed professional travelers find the best value for their travel dollars.

Perkins was founding editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter, one of the country's most influential travel publications, from which he retired in 1998. He has also written for Business Traveller magazine (London).

Perkins' travel expertise has led to frequent television appearances, including ABC's "Good Morning America" and "This Week with David Brinkley," "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," CNN, and numerous local TV and radio stations.

Before editing Consumer Reports Travel Letter, Perkins spent 25 years in travel research and consulting with assignments ranging from national tourism development strategies to the design of computer-based tourism models.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Perkins lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife.

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