Air Canada and Continental gain slots at Toronto City Centre

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Star Alliance partners Air Canada and Continental will join Porter Airlines in offering flights from Toronto City Centre airport after being granted slots at the facility by the Toronto Port Authority.

Often referred to as the "island airport", due to its locations on the Toronto islands located in the city, the airport is closer in than Toronto's Pearson International airport. City Centre is only accessible by ferry.

An exclusivity agreement negotiated between and Bombardier Q400 operator Porter Airlines and the Port Authority prior to Porter's 2006 debut at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport triggered legal action by Air Canada and its regional partner Jazz.

But as that exclusivity was drawing to a close the Port Authority initiated a formal request for proposal (RFP) process to expand the number of carriers serving the airport.

Working with Airport Coordination Limited, the Port Authority decided to allocate 90 slots to Air Canada, Continental and Porter. Porter is receiving the bulk with 44 slots followed by Air Canada's allotment of 30 slots and Continental's award of 16.

The new carriers are required to enter into commercial agreements with the Port Authority before they commence operations. Porter in April of this year entered into restated agreement with the airport operator.

"Based on the feedback we received from the carriersthe RFP process has achieved our initial goal of providing the travelling public with more carrier options than in the modern history of the airport," says Port Authority CEO Geoff Wilson.