Three airlines offer non-stop flights to Europe from Halifax: Air Canada, WestJet and Condor. We might as well remove Air Canada from the list, however, because the grounding of the 737 Max 8 has put the London Heathrow non-stop in limbo with no foreseeable return. This is particularly unfortunate as it was the only flight that wasn’t limited to seasonal service. On the bright side, both WestJet and Condor offer non-stop flights to more than one city. Therefore, I did a bit of searching today to find a couple of reasonably priced non-stop open-jaw itineraries for spring 2020.
An “open-jaw” booking is when you fly into one city and back from another on the same ticket. So if you fly to London and home from Paris, that’s an open-jaw. Alternatively, if you depart from Halifax to London but return from London to Montreal, that’s an open-jaw as well. And if all 4 of your flight origins are different, that’s a double open-jaw.
Booking an open-jaw is beneficial in a couple of ways. The first is time. Unless you’re staying put or making a circuit and will be returning to your original destination anyway, it will take time to backtrack to catch your flight home. That can eat into your precious vacation hours or days. An open-jaw flight can also save you money, even if a straight return flight is a bit cheaper. For example, you might have to buy a train ticket to get back to your original destination which must be factored into your total spending.
Non-Stops from Halifax
WestJet has the most non-stop flights to Europe from Halifax. At the moment, one can book a flight to London (Gatwick), Glasgow, Manchester, Dublin and Paris. The Manchester route is an an exciting recent addition that will use the regular 737 aircraft. Like Air Canada to London Heathrow, although it’s currently bookable, I’m not sure the Paris route will actually materialize this year due to the Max 8 issue. Who knows.
Condor flies Halifax to Frankfurt and Munich. Last year Munich was dropped from the schedule so it’s nice to see it back. Of note, Condor is set to be purchased by the parent company of LOT Polish Airlines. Hopefully that bodes well for its future.
Halifax to the UK in May
Halifax – London (May 3)
Glasgow – Halifax (May 14)
WestJet Basic Economy
I like to search for open-jaw flights on matrix.itasoftware.com by inputting multiple airports at once to see what combinations show up with the lowest fares. I don’t use the multi-city function because the calendar view is not an option when doing so.
If you’ve been to London previously or your interest lies in the countryside, you could head north stopping in wonderful places like the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Dales or the Lake District. Or you could visit London for a bit and then hop on a cheap flight to Inverness to see some of the Scottish highlands as you make your way south to Glasgow.
Halifax to Germany in June
Halifax – Munich (June 5)
Frankfurt – Halifax (June 16)
Condor Economy Light
With Condor, I find it best to use the Condor website and look for fares using the multi-city search after selecting the outbound destination.
Spend a few days in Bavaria and then head north for some time in the Rhine Valley.
If you like the logistical ease of a non-stop flight and the efficiency of flying into one city and out of another, then it’s worth seeing what you can put together. To get the lowest fares, you often need to have some flexibility with your schedule. Check fares frequently so you can catch a deal when it appears.
Each example above can be booked on one ticket but remember you could also book two separate one-way flights if it works out better for your travel plans.
Lastly, take note of the restrictions on the fares as you might be inclined to book a category above WestJet’s Economy Basic or Condor’s Economy Light.