After being stalled for months, budget airline Newleaf Travel is finally taken off. With flights starting July 25, you can now buy low-price airfare tickets from the company.
Newleaf is a “virtual airline,” which means it doesn’t operate its own aircraft but simply sells no-frills tickets for flights operated by B.C.-based Flair Airlines. The low-cost airline mostly flies between smaller or regional airports across the Canada in cities like Hamilton, Victoria, and Halifax. It’s important to note that many of the routes are only available on certain days of the week, and your options are limited based on where you’re flying out from.
The lowest price for a fare starts at $89 dollars and after that it’s all fees, fees, fees: $30 for carry-on bags when booked through the website; $25 for your first checked bag; $35 for your second checked bag.
That’s because Newleaf’s business model is to sell a low-cost base fare for the flight, leaving passengers to pay more for services they need or want. The airline also charges higher prices for things like baggage fees and seat selection depending on whether you’re requesting them online or in-person at the airport. Those fees can add up quickly. Take, for example, a carry-on bag: Newleaf charges $30 on the website, but $40 at the airport check-in. Want to pay for it at the gate? That’ll be $80, please. See all their fees here.
You could use Newleaf as an alternative method of transport to the big cities (just take a 90-minute bus ride from Hamilton to downtown Toronto, for example.) But you can also have fun in the smaller destinations that the airline serves. Here are attractions you can visit after taking a super-cheap Newleaf flight to these cities:
• Distance to downtown Hamilton: 20 min (20 km)
• Distance to downtown Toronto: 1.5 hours (84 km)
• Flight from Winnipeg, Man. to Hamilton with Newleaf: $170.23
• Flight from Winnipeg, Man. to Hamilton with WestJet: $237
For $11, you can take a tour of a historical building lavish enough to have hosted kings and Prime Ministers.
This war museum hosts a large variety of warplanes, such as the Spitfire and F-86 Sabre. Admission is $13.
• Distance to downtown Vancouver: 1 hr (67.9km)
• Flight from Winnipeg, Man. to Abbotsford with Newleaf: $153.43
• Flight from Winnipeg, Man. to Abbotsford with WestJet: $441
This recreational park is crammed with attractions, from Go Karts to a Laser Maze. Admission is free, but attractions themselves can cost from $4 to $8 each.
This public art gallery is free and features art from across Canada and the world.
• Distance to downtown Halifax: 30 to 40 min (34.1 km to 43.4 km)
• Flight from Hamilton, Ont. to Halifax with Newleaf: $99
• Flight from Hamilton, Ont. to Halifax with WestJet: $212
Citadel Hill, also known as Fort George, is a massive fortification overlooking the city of Halifax. It was used as stronghold during many past wars and is now a popular tourist destination operated by Parks Canada. Entry during peak season costs $11.70.
Canada’s oldest warship still floats in Halifax Harbour and serves as a museum. Entry costs $12.
• Distance to downtown Kelowna: 22 min (16km)
• Flight from Winnipeg, Man. to Kelowna with Newleaf: $89
• Flight from Winnipeg, Man. to Kelowna with WestJet: $124
It’s a bit far from Kelowna International Airport, but there’s plenty to do here for anybody who enjoys the great outdoors. The more adventurous activities, like tree climbing, starts at $35.
If you’re not willing to travel as far from town, you can stop by a beach on Lake Okanagan.
• Flight from Kelowna, B.C. to Regina with Newleaf: $89
• Flight from Kelowna, B.C. to Regina with Air Canada: $207
The museum of natural history is one of the first in the area. The admission is a donation, but the recommended amount is $15 for a family.
This interactive, not-for-profit science museum is great for any curious kids. Admission is $10.
• Flight from Hamilton, Ont. to Saskatoon with Newleaf: $151.56
• Flight from Hamilton, Ont. to Saskatoon with WestJet: $299
The museum features an incredible reconstruction of a prairie town, complete with a life-sized schoolhouse, train station, and dentist’s office. Admission is $10 for an adult.
As Saskatchewan’s only official zoo, if you’re in the province, you may want to check it out. Admission for adults is $11.50.
• Flight from Hamilton, Ont. to Winnipeg with Newleaf: $183.20
• Flight from Hamilton, Ont. to Winnipeg with WestJet: $299
This historic site is said to hold a 6,000-year history of human habitation within it. It’s also part of the greater recreation grounds known as The Forks, which is home to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.
Why would we include a government building? Because not only is it architecturally stunning but it has a rich history and a surprising amount of symbolism behind its design. Call ahead for reservations in this exclusive tour.
• Distance to downtown Kamloops: 16 min (11 km)
• Flight from Victoria, B.C. to Kamloops with Newleaf: $79
• Flight from Victoria, B.C. to Kamloops with Air Canada: $172
Being situated at the foot of multiple ski hills makes this British Columbia town a nice destination for tourists. You can also explore the city via bike or go hiking. Biking for the day costs $20 while using the bike park costs $45.
This small zoo holds a number of endangered species. Entrance fee is $15.50
• Distance to downtown Edmonton: 30 min (30 km)
• Flight from Fort St. John, B.C. to Edmonton with Newleaf: $79
• Flight from Fort St. John, B.C. to Edmonton with WestJet: $99
The park is the largest history museum in Canada by area, boasting historical buildings from four time periods and is complete with a working steam train. Admission is $26.20 for adults.
We all know how much kids love to touch stuff, which is why you should consider taking them to this hands-on space and science museum. Admission is $19.95 per adult.
• Distance to downtown Victoria: 25 min (25 km)
• Flight from Edmonton, Alberta to Victoria with Newleaf: $89
• Flight from Edmonton, Alberta to Victoria with WestJet: $209
With collections comprising of a total of 7 million objects, you can imagine there’s plenty to see at this museum. Adult admission for the day is $24.
Apparently, visiting tiny models of cities used to be all the rage for children in the 80s. But, you can still indulge your nostalgia in Victoria. This attraction situated in downtown Victoria features dioramas like Circus World and Camelot that you and your kids will love. Pricing for adults is $15, and $8 for children.
Note: Not included in this list are two other Newleaf-serviced cities, Moncton, N.B. and Fort St. John, B.C.