Category Archives: Porter Airlines

Porter Airlines is expanding service across North America by ordering 30 firm Embraer E195-E2s, will fly out of Toronto Pearson

Porter Airlines is extending its destinations throughout North America with the introduction of up to 80 Embraer E195-E2 aircraft into its fleet. The planes have transcontinental range and will enter into service with Porter starting in the second half of 2022.

Porter is Embraer’s North American launch customer for the E2. The total aircraft order is valued at up to USD $5.82 billion at current list prices, with 30 firm commitments and 50 purchase right options. The aircraft are being acquired by Porter Aircraft Leasing Corp., a sister company of Porter Airlines. This investment enhances competition, elevates passenger service levels and creates as many as 6,000 new jobs based on 80 aircraft deliveries.

Porter intends to operate the E2s to popular destinations from Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and Toronto Pearson International Airport. The introduction of specific routes will be determined in advance of aircraft deliveries.

While establishing service at Pearson Airport for the first time, flights from Porter’s existing hub at downtown Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport (below) remain core to its business and will continue with high-frequency regional service on turboprop aircraft.

Service is confirmed to restart at Billy Bishop on Sept. 8, 2021 following a temporary shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions.

Photo: Q400s in storage at Billy Bishop.

The airport is essential to the airline’s immediate plans for re-establishing flights and developing future routes. The E2s will not operate at this airport.

The E195-E2’s range allows for the creation of a continental route network. Potential markets reach coast to coast in Canada and the United States, including U.S. sun destinations, plus Mexico and the Caribbean. A possible destination map with initial routes to be announced in 2022:

The E195-E2 accommodates between 120 and 146 passengers. The interior complements Porter’s traditional service offering, with a passenger-focused design emphasizing space and comfort. Features include aisle or window seating for every passenger, with no middle seats, plus large windows and overhead bins, and cabin mood lighting. Porter is currently finalizing its preferred configuration and additional passenger experience details, such as in-flight entertainment and onboard service.

The E2 is the most environmentally-friendly single-aisle aircraft family, measured by sound and CO2 emissions. The E195-E2 is certified to the strictest international standard for aircraft noise, at 65% quieter than previous generation types. Carbon emissions are nearly 10% lower per trip, with up to 25% less CO2 emissions per seat. Combined with Porter’s existing De Havilland Dash 8-400s (below), the airline will have one of the world’s most environmentally sustainable commercial aircraft fleets.

Canada-based aerospace companies contribute greater than 37% of the E2’s main systems. The engines are produced by Pratt & Whitney Canada in Quebec, with revolutionary geared-turbofan technology being the most significant component of the aircraft’s incredible fuel efficiency and minimal sound profile. Additionally, Ontario-based Thales produces select avionics and Quebec-based Alta Precision the main landing gear. Porter’s purchase supports skilled jobs and ongoing innovation within this important economic sector.

Funds for the aircraft purchase are being raised privately from shareholders, as well as through aircraft sale-leaseback agreements.

Porter Airlines confirms restart of service to select Canadian destinations beginning September 8

Porter Airlines is officially returning to the skies on Sept. 8, nearly 18 months after suspending flights due to COVID-19 public health and travel restrictions.

U.S. flights start on September 17 (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
U.S. flights start on September 17 (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)

The flight schedule is returning in phases, with the initial group of Canadian destinations being HalifaxMonctonMontrealOttawaQuebec CitySt. John’s, NLThunder Bay and Toronto. U.S. destinations in BostonChicagoNew York and Washington follow on Sept. 17.

Approximately 500 team members will be recalled to active status as the first phase of flights are introduced. More staff will be added in subsequent months as flights and destinations return to the schedule.

The initial flight schedule is as follows:

Canadian Routes* Peak daily roundtrips Service start date
Ottawa – Toronto 6 flights Sept. 8
Montreal – Toronto 6 flights Sept. 8
Thunder Bay – Toronto 3 flights Sept. 8
Ottawa – Halifax 2 flights Sept. 13
Montreal – Halifax 1 flight Sept. 13
Quebec City – Toronto 1 flight Sept. 13
Halifax – St. John’s 1 flight Sept. 17
Moncton – Ottawa 1 flight Sept. 17
U.S. Routes*
New York (Newark) – Toronto 6 fights Sept. 17
Boston – Toronto 3 flights Sept. 17
Chicago (Midway) – Toronto 2 flights Sept. 17
Washington (Dulles) – Toronto 1 flight Sept. 17
* All Toronto routes operate at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Schedules vary by day of week.

Flights to other year-round destinations normally operated by Porter are currently available for booking and set to resume as of Oct. 6.

Porter finalizes loan agreement with the Canadian government

Porter Aviation Holdings Inc., parent company of Porter Airlines,  has reached an agreement with the Government of Canada for loans valued at up to $270.5 million. Included in this amount is $20.5 million dollars dedicated to issuing additional passenger refunds for flights cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Porter is using this money primarily as a capital reserve during the pandemic recovery period,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter. “We intend to draw on these funds as required in support of re-establishing operations through an uncertain period of travel demand. Our immediate focus is on being ready to fly again as soon as public health conditions allow and governments modify travel restrictions.”

The loans are being made available through the federal government’s Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation under the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF). Terms are consistent with LEEFF’s published rates and repayable within five years. A separate loan to assist with passenger refunds is repayable over seven years.

All flights booked by June 30, 2021, for travel as of February 1, 2020, are eligible for refunds. The process for making refund requests begins immediately. All submissions must be made online and will be accepted until August 29, 2021. Refunds are for the total purchase amount and will be processed to the original form of payment, such as a credit card and VIPorter points.

Customers have the option of keeping their existing travel credits and receiving a 25% credit bonus, depending on their method of booking. These credits are valid until December 31, 2022, are fully transferable, and can be redeemed multiple times until the full balance is used. Credits, including bonuses, are automatically applied and do not require the customer to contact Porter. Eligible customers will be notified by email if their address was provided at the time of booking. The value of credits, including bonus amounts, is included in this email.

Porter Airlines tentatively sets July 20 as a new start-up date

Porter Airlines is resetting its tentative date for resuming flights to July 20.

“It’s encouraging to see the recovery of the aviation industry in the U.S.,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “As vaccination rates in Canada increase, we are hopeful travel restrictions and public health measures will ease, so we can recall our team members, welcome back our passengers and begin to rebuild the airline.”

The grounded fleet:

Porter previously set June 21, as its tentative restart date. Operations were temporarily suspended on March 21, 2020, due to COVID-19.

Porter Airlines sets another new start-up date

Porter Airlines is resetting its tentative date for resuming flights to June 21.

“In recent weeks, there has been open discussion by government officials about easing travel restrictions based on expectations that vaccination programs will be well advanced in the U.S. and Canada by early summer,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines.

“We recognize that short-term public health measures have been enhanced recently in certain jurisdictions. At the same time, we are looking ahead to summer and preparing for the possibility of some travel restrictions unwinding. We will begin the process of rebuilding our operations as soon as conditions allow based on government decisions.”

Porter previously set May 19, as its tentative restart date. Operations were temporarily suspended on March 21, 2020, due to COVID-19.

Porter Airlines’ tentative return to flying shifts to May 19

The target date for Porter Airlines to resume flights is being pushed back to May 19.

Porter Airlines’ tentative return to flying shifts to May 19 (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)

“The implementation of more restrictive travel rules by governments since our last update makes an early spring restart unviable,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “While there are signs of progress in containing the pandemic, it is necessary to reset our sights based on changing conditions. We remain optimistic that things are moving in the right direction, but it is possible that this tentative date may also need to be modified if vaccinations don’t accelerate to enable the easing of travel restrictions.”

Porter previously set March 29, as its tentative restart date. Updates will be provided in the coming weeks about the status of flights. Operations were temporarily suspended on March 21, 2020, due to COVID-19.

Porter Airlines updates tentative restart of flights to March 29

Porter Airlines is establishing March 29, 2021 as a revised tentative date for restarting flights based on the continuing surge in COVID-19 cases and corresponding public health measures.

A further update will be provided this winter based on the status of the pandemic and the evolution of government measures that may promote greater freedom to travel.

Porter temporarily suspended operations on March 21, 2020, due to COVID-19.

Porter Airlines pushes back again its restart date to February 11, 2021

Porter Airlines is updating its planned restart date for flights to Feb. 11, due to increasing COVID-19 cases and ongoing travel restrictions affecting customer demand.

“Deferring service until 2021 is not a decision we anticipated having to make as COVID-19 emerged early this year,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “Every delay to restarting flights has the greatest effect on our team members, who are eager to do their part to help serve customers under safe conditions. Unfortunately, the continued and cumulative effects of restrictive travel advisories, border closures and quarantines have suffocated travel demand to the point that a return to sustainable levels of passenger traffic is highly unlikely in 2020.”

All photos by the airline. Above: The parked fleet.

Planning a restart after the traditionally slow post-holiday January period, provides a reasonable opportunity to begin flying if conditions improve. This also gives more time for the development of rapid testing solutions as a promising means to lift government-imposed restrictions on travel.

Porter temporarily suspended operations on March 21, due to COVID-19.

Porter Airlines extends service restart to December 15

Porter Airlines made this announcement:

Porter Airlines is extending its temporary service suspension to Dec. 15, based on continuing travel restrictions associated with COVID-19.

“The flare up of COVID-19 cases in certain markets during the last month dampened any expectation of changes to government restrictions that will enable us to begin flying again in November,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines. “The federal government is indicating that they need more confidence about what course the pandemic will take before restrictions are reconsidered. We hope that lifting of travel restrictions will soon be possible given evolving technology, such as rapid testing, and health and safety investments that the travel industry is making.”

Porter is waiving change and cancellation fees on all fares booked through Dec. 15, including Porter Escapes vacation packages.

Porter temporarily suspended operations as of March 21, 2020 due to COVID-19.

Porter Airlines updates restart date to November 12

Porter Airlines has made this announcement:

Porter Airlines is updating its return-to-service date to November 12, from the previously-announced target of October 7.

The quarantine period for travellers entering or returning to Canada was recently extended. This, along with the continued closure of the Canada-U.S. border and Atlantic Canada travel bubble, are key factors in the decision to extend the restart date.

“Every one of our markets is affected by the Canadian government’s non-essential travel advisory and border closures,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines. “We understand the impact this has on our passengers and our team members, and continue to make decisions based on how the situation evolves.”

Porter is waiving change and cancellation fees on all fares booked through November 12, including Porter Escapes vacation packages.

Porter temporarily suspended operations as of March 21, 2020 due to COVID-19.