Sláinte (pronounced SLON-sha) is a Gaelic word literally translating as “health” and is commonly used as a celebratory toast in Ireland (thanks, Wikipedia!).
Why do you need to know how to say sláinte, you might ask? Well, from June 15, 2014, to October 5, 2014, WestJet begins non-stop flights to Dublin* from St. John’s, Newfoundland, direct (same-aircraft) flights from Toronto and connections from across WestJet’s network. Yes, you did read that correctly. We are heading across the pond.
Highlights of our new Dublin service include:
- New daily non-stop flights between St. John’s and Dublin
- New daily direct (same-aircraft) flights between Toronto and Dublin
- New daily non-stop flights between Ottawa and St. John’s connecting to Dublin
- Daily connections between Dublin and Halifax, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and other cities across WestJet’s network
- All flights will be operated by one of our snazzy Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 series aircraft.
Now that you’ve had the chance to pick yourself up off the floor, you may begin to wonder; why Ireland? Trust the network denizens at WestJet to do their homework. First and foremost, WestJet’s first transatlantic route will cut the current travel time from St. John’s to Dublin by nearly half.
This is good news to the 160,000 people that are expected to travel between Ireland and Canada this summer. Visitors on both sides then have access to hundreds of destinations via their favourite local low-cost carriers, taking them on affordable adventures across WestJet’s extensive network and to more than 100 non-stop European destinations.
Some will cross the deep blue sea in pursuit of opportunity. Currently there are more than 100 Canadian-owned companies operating in Ireland and more than 50 Irish companies operating here, and it is anticipated that more than 10,000 Canadian work visas will be issued to Irish citizens in 2014. Others are visiting friends and family or meeting the far-flung branches on the family tree: more than 20 per cent of residents in Atlantic Canada have some degree of Irish ancestry.
Another common question that may come up today is “Does this mark the beginning of WestJet’s expansion into Europe?” We’re committed to connecting more Canadians to the destinations to which they want to travel. Today is about new service to Ireland, and we don’t have any further plans just now.
Whether your motivation is the traditions, the history, the chance to kiss the Blarney stone or the chance to be inspired by walking the same streets as Joyce, Beckett and Wilde, all of Airlann’s adventurous wiles conspire to draw us soon across to the Emerald Isle.
Details of our new Dublin service can be found on westjet.com. We look forward to welcoming you on board!
Slán go foil!
What’s your favourite part of Ireland? What would you like to see? Comment below and help all of us plan a memorable trip!
*Subject to government approval.