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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

Man jailed for making hoax bomb call in order to catch his flight at Gatwick

A man who made a hoax bomb call in an attempt to catch his flight to the USA has been jailed.

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Jacob Meir Abdellak was running late for the Norwegian flight from Gatwick to Los Angeles, so he decided to contact the police to report the threat.

The anonymous call was received at 5.47am on Friday 11 May – just eight minutes before the flight was due to depart – and a full re-screening meant take-off was delayed by 90 minutes.

Further enquiries made by Gatwick Airport Ltd revealed Abdellak was significantly late for the flight and he was denied boarding by airline staff, whom he became abusive towards. He was told to return on another date to rearrange his flight.

It was later confirmed the telephone number used to make the call was the same number linked to his booking.

The 47-year-old librarian, of Amhurst Park, Hackney, London, was arrested at Gatwick Airport on Tuesday 22 May as he attempted to board another flight to the USA.

He was charged with communicating false information regarding a noxious substance likely to create serious risk to human health, however he denied the offence throughout.

Abdellak, a French national, admitted the telephone number was his, but claimed he had lost the SIM card a few days earlier and therefore the call could not have been made by him.

But at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday (14 August), when the trial was due to begin, the defendant changed his mind and pleaded guilty.

He was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment and required to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

Gatwick Police Chief Inspector Marc Clothier said:

“This was a quite ridiculous decision made by Abdellak, who fabricated an extremely serious allegation purely for his own benefit. He was running late for his flight and thought it would be a good idea to call in a hoax bomb, however this turned out to be the worst decision he could have made.

“His actions caused the flight to be delayed, and also caused a level of fear and distress among a number of staff and passengers on board that flight.

“The consequences of making allegations about bombs, guns or similar at densely populated locations such as airports are well documented, and Abdellak’s sentence serves as a warning to others that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and offenders will be dealt with robustly.”

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