Air Canada to fly out of Toronto City Airport, but not with Jazz Air!

Air Canada (Montreal) today announced that it has settled the terms of a long term Commercial Carrier Operating Agreement (CCOA) with the Toronto Port Authority (TPA), operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Conclusion of the agreement is subject to certain conditions, including agreement with the lessor of terminal space, City Centre Terminal Corp. (CCTC), for lease of space at the airport. In addition, the airline has entered into a letter of intent (LOI) for the leasing of aircraft and has finalized arrangements with a regional carrier to operate flights from the Toronto Island Airport beginning in February 2011.

Air Canada’s initial schedule will offer customers the choice of up to 15 daily non-stop flights from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, in close proximity to downtown Toronto, to Montreal Trudeau International Airport.

Flights will be operated with Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) (ex Lynx Aviation?) turboprop aircraft. Air Canada has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with a lessor for the five aircraft that will be operated on the Toronto City Airport-Montreal route. Formal terms and conditions of the lease agreements are expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.

Following a competitive bid process to select a Canadian regional operator for these aircraft, Air Canada has concluded a capacity purchase agreement with Sky Regional Airlines Inc., an associated company of Skyservice Business Aviation. The regional carrier will sublease and operate the Q400 aircraft on behalf of Air Canada. According to Air Canada, “Selection of Sky Regional Airlines was based on a number of criteria including a competitive cost structure, a proven track record in customer service excellence and experience maintaining Dash 8 Q400 aircraft. The selection of Sky Regional Airlines to operate these flights has no impact on Air Canada’s commercial arrangements with other regional carriers including Jazz Air LP (Air Canada Jazz) (Halifax) with which Air Canada maintains a strong commercial relationship.”

Air Canada is actively engaged in talks with the airport terminal owner, City Centre Terminal Corp. (CCTC), towards an agreement to lease terminal facilitates that will accommodate the new service.

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