If you live in the Maritimes and have any thoughts of travelling to Europe over the next few months, it’s good to know which cities you can fly to non-stop from Halifax. Backtracking to Montreal or Toronto is a pain. It’s so much nicer to be on your way over the Atlantic within minutes of takeoff. Whether you’re redeeming points or paying cash, more direct flights to choose from can help you create a more appealing and affordable itinerary.
Non-Stop European Destinations from Halifax
There are direct flights to the following European cities in 2022:
These routes are serviced by four airlines: Air Canada, WestJet, Condor and Eurowings Discover.
Air Canada – Halifax to London (Heathrow)
Before the pandemic and prior to the issues with the Boeing 737 Max 8, the Halifax – London (Heathrow) route was available all year round. Fortunately, it looks like it will be that way again. What makes this flight interesting is that until October 29, it will be a daytime flight, departing at 11 am and arriving in London at 9 pm. For anyone who can’t sleep on a plane, this could be an enticing choice. [UPDATE: the daytime flight is now appearing on the schedule up to March 24, 2023]
If you’re aware of the changes to the Aeroplan program, you know that redeeming points for transatlantic flights on Air Canada is now much easier on the wallet. The absurdly high carrier/fuel surcharges are largely gone. The challenge is now finding decent availability amid the new dynamic pricing model on Air Canada operated flights.
In the past, I have occasionally observed reasonable one-way cash fares Halifax to London on Air Canada, but at the moment, they are disproportionately high which is not unusual for on intercontinental fares in many airlines. If you’re looking to book a one-way, you’ll need to check out other options.
WestJet – Halifax to Paris, Dublin, Glasgow and London (Gatwick)
For several years, WestJet has offered the most seasonal routes across the pond out of Halifax. These are now all on the 737 Max. Most of these do not are not daily so check the WestJet schedule or do a flexible date search on Google Flights or ITA Matrix to see the current timetable. Unsurprisingly, the London route is the most frequent of the bunch.
Flights to London are scheduled to go until October 29; Glasgow till October 27 and Dublin flights end October 28.
With four cities to choose from, you can create an open-jaw itinerary very easily flying into one airport and out of another.
Here’s an example of a super cheap fare next month:
The ability to book a one-way ticket for a reasonable price also allows you to get more creative with your itinerary by combining different carriers or point currencies to assemble your trip. If your final destination is elsewhere in Europe, you might find it economical to fly into Dublin or London Gatwick and purchase a separate ticket onward. Both airports have a large variety routes from budget airlines like EasyJet or Ryanair. Just remember that you need to build in a cushion of time to hedge against a delay causing you to miss the next flight. It’s best if including a day or two at your makeshift stopover city fits into your travel plans, especially with the volatile nature of airline schedules these days.
As of the time of writing, flights booked by May 31, 2022 can be changed or cancelled without penalty. Funds go into a WestJet travel bank with a 24 month expiry. See the WestJet cancel/change policy and press release for details.
According to this Flyertalk thread, complimentary meals will now be served in economy on all transatlantic WestJet flights.
Condor – Halifax to Frankfurt
German leisure airline Condor has risen from the ashes of the Thomas Cook demise and will offer non-stop service to Frankfurt from Halifax until October 22. There has been a Munich flight in the past as well, but not this year.
A wide-body plane is used on this route although the business class is not of the “lie-flat” type that so many premium cabin enthusiasts prefer. However, word is that Condor will be acquiring new aircraft in the months to come so that will likely change. Check the planes currently used on their Toronto – Frankfurt flights to get an indication of what the future may hold.
As with WestJet, it’s possible to get a reasonably priced one-way ticket on Condor. Check the Cheap Flight Finder to see what’s available if you have flexibility with your destination.
You can also redeem Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for reward flights operated by Condor. One-ways in economy are 25-40k, premium economy 45k and business 55k. If you’re connecting to a European sun destination such as the Greek Isles, your Alaska miles can take you the whole way. Remember with Alaska you can include a free stopover in Frankfurt as well.
Eurowings Discover – Halifax to Frankfurt
If one German leisure airline is not enough, we now have the option to fly a Lufthansa subsidiary to Deutschland and beyond. Eurowings Discover is relatively new on the scene and offers flights to Frankfurt on different days than Condor up until September 9. Like Condor, the aircraft is a wide-body although this one does offer lie-flat seats in business class.
While additional non-stops are always welcome, I must admit that I wish this flight were to Munich or Hamburg or Berlin. That said, Germany has an excellent rail system and getting elsewhere in the country or neighbouring countries is not too difficult.
On the plus side, as an Aeroplan partner, this airline presents lots of opportunity to use Aeroplan points to various destinations in Europe with only one connection. Unlike the dynamic pricing of Air Canada flight rewards, it’s a fixed 35k one-way in economy or 60k in business class for flights under 4000 miles. With Lufthansa’s large network, that means a load of possibilities.
As mentioned earlier, being able to redeem points for a one-way flight also gives you the flexibility to nab a cheap one-way cash fare in the other direction.
Beware of Schedule Changes
If you’ve been paying attention to the travel news lately, you’ve probably noticed the high number of flight cancellations, delays and disruptions. People are flying in greater numbers, but Covid is still a major concern with negative effects on the travel industry. It helps to retain a bit of flexibility with your plans and to stay on top of current developments that could impact your trip.
I’m sure many Nova Scotians would agree that flying directly to Europe from Halifax is preferable to heading west or south to connect. Hopefully the seasonal routes listed above will continue to operate, and if we’re lucky, maybe an additional year-round offering will eventually appear. A return of Icelandair would be most appreciated as well. In the meantime, it’s great to have these five great destinations from which to choose.