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WestJet heads to London Gatwick and Paris from Halifax

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WestJet today announced that it is again connecting Atlantic Canada to the world by air with daily direct flights between Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) and Gatwick Airport (LGW) in London, U.K. and Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris. These flights are part of the WestJet 2018 summer schedule also released today.

All flights will be operated on the airline’s newest, most efficient and guest-friendly aircraft, the Boeing 737-8 MAX.

“As the carrier with the most transatlantic flights from Halifax, we are thrilled to announce our first foray onto the European mainland,” said Ed Sims, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial.

“Venturing to London and now Paris is an indication of our ambitious growth plans as we move towards becoming a global network carrier. This is an investment that will help launch new flights in the future and further expand our presence in YHZ – a key driver in economic and employment growth.

“We look forward to working with WestJet to launch this exciting new long-haul route, which will further enhance Gatwick’s position as the world’s busiest departure airport for low-cost, long-haul services,” said Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport. “Halifax has lots to offer visitors from the U.K., with its rich maritime history, year-round festivals and buoyant nightlife making it a must-visit global city. With Halifax also being one of Canada’s main economic hubs, these new flights will provide an important link between the two countries’ business communities at a time when worldwide connections are vital for the U.K.”

Starting May 31, WestJet will begin service with daily flights between Halifax and Paris. On April 29, WestJet will begin daily service between Halifax and London (Gatwick). In addition, WestJet will add one flight to Halifax from Calgary for a total of 15 weekly flights.

WestJet currently serves 16 cities from the Halifax International Airport, up from six in 2013, including 10 Canadian, two transborder, one international and three European destinations; at peak summer schedule, the airline will operate more than 25 flights per week. Since 2012, the airline’s traffic from Halifax has grown by more than 160 per cent.

Details of WestJet’s new non-stop service:

Route Frequency Departing Arriving Effective
Halifax – Paris Daily 10:55 p.m. 10 a.m. +1 May 31, 2018
Paris – Halifax Daily 11:20 a.m. 1:35 p.m. June 1, 2018
Halifax – London (Gatwick) Daily 10:35 p.m. 8:21 a.m. +1 April 29, 2018
London (Gatwick) – Halifax Daily 9:50 a.m. 1 p.m. April 30, 2018

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Crime

Two jailed after attempt to smuggle 8.5kgs of cocaine through Gatwick

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK”, says Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South.

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The drugs, which had been wrapped in plastic and hidden inside boxes marked ‘rum’, weighed approximately 8.5kgs.

Two men from Barbados are facing a total of 13 years in jail after pleading guilty to attempting to smuggle an estimated 8.5kgs of cocaine into the UK.

On 1 September, Border Force officers stopped 62-year-old Grantley Herbert Thompson, and 30-year-old Jamal Ricardo Walcott, in the customs channels at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal. Both had arrived on a flight from Barbados.

More news: Crawley’s Community Wardens earn RSPCA award

During a search of their baggage officers discovered a white powder, wrapped in green plastic, and hidden inside boxes marked rum. The powder was subsequently tested and gave a positive reaction to the field test for cocaine. The cocaine had an estimated street value of £535,000.

Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South said:

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK and I commend the Border Force officers whose work ensured that Thompson and Walcott are now behind bars.

“Illegal drugs have a significant impact on our society, being the root cause behind countless burglaries, thefts and robberies. They are also used as a commodity by organised criminals linked to violence and exploitation of the vulnerable.

“We continue to work with our colleagues from the National Crime Agency (NCA) to do all we can to stamp out this despicable trade and bring those responsible to justice.”

The case was referred to the NCA and Thompson and Walcott were charged with importation of a class A drug.

62-year-old Grantley Thompson.

On Thursday, 11 October the pair appeared at Croydon Crown Court where they admitted the smuggling attempt. Both were sentenced to six years and six months imprisonment immediately.

30-year-old Jamal Walcott.

The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, which was launched in April, aims to combat the devastating impact drugs have on levels of serious violence.

It also highlights a strong link between drugs and serious violence and the related harm and exploitation from county lines. The Government has set out the action it will take to tackle this violent and exploitative criminal activity. The action of Border Force to stop drugs before they get into the country forms a key part of this work.

Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

Nationally, they use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners – as well as visual searches – to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or go to https://www.gov.uk/report-smuggling

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