Air service twice a day between Portland, the largest city in state of Maine in the United States, and Nova Scotia in Canada is being started in February 2009.
The Yarmouth International Airport Corporation, based in Nova Scotia, Canada, said in a statement that it has arrived at an agreement with Starlink Aviation to offer round-trip flights connecting Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Nova Scotia, Canada, and the Portland International Jetport, located 2 miles west of the central business district of Portland, in Cumberland County, Maine, the United States.
The proposed air service between Nova Scotia and Portland would be the first international service for Portland since 2002, when Air Canada, Canada’s flag carrier and the country’s biggest airline, stopped flying on the Portland-to-Montreal route because of financial problems.
Starlink Aviation, the multi-service aviation company headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, will operate an 18-passenger Jetstream 31 turboprop aircraft from Yarmouth to Halifax and back, and then on to Portland, in morning and afternoon from Monday through Friday.
According to Jeffrey Monroe, Yarmouth Airport’s development director,
while the ticket prices are still being worked out, the one-way ticket prices will likely be around $160 from Yarmouth to Halifax, $200 from Yarmouth to Portland, and $250 from Halifax to Portland, exclusive of taxes and other fees.
Starlink Aviation, which has been in business for 25 years now, is in the process of hiring pilots, flight attendants and agents on the ground.
The flight from Halifax to Yarmouth is about 40 minutes, and the journey from Yarmouth to Portland is less than an hour, Jeffrey Monroe said. Passengers will enter Portland’s airport through the existing United States Customs facility, which is now used by private aircraft, and then will be bused to the main terminal.
People from Canada would also be able to connect to Florida through Portland, Monroe added.
A market analysis, Monroe said, had shown that there was a good amount of business traffic between Yarmouth, Halifax, Portland and New Hampshire and that the ski areas of New Hampshire and Maine are popular destinations for Nova Scotians.
During the winter months, there has been no regular transportation service between Nova Scotia and Maine. In the summer, the Cat, a high-speed ferry operated by Bay Ferries Limited, connects Portland to Yarmouth – with the trip taking over five hours.
The website novanewsnow.com quoted Daniel Paquet, director of sales and business development for Starlink Aviation, as saying that the air service between Nova Scotia and Portland is a one-year agreement.
Paquet said “the price of tickets is something that has yet to be confirmed, though the ticket price will be very competitive.”
At present, Starlink Aviation is in the process of hiring pilots, flight attendants and agents on the ground.
Paquet told the website novanewsnow.com that Starlink Aviation was “pleased with the facilities at the Yarmouth Airport” and pointed out that the company operates in smaller airports in Quebec that do not have the same level of navigation system that Yarmouth Airport has.
He said Starlink Aviation was confident that it would receive the necessary operating approvals for starting the service in early February 2009.
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