Canadian regional carrier Porter Airlines has resumed flying to all of its 18 year-round destinations four weeks after restarting operations following an almost year-and-a-half coronavirus-driven pause.
The carrier, based at Toronto’s secondary airport Billy Bishop Toronto City, says on 6 October that Fredericton, Saint John, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins and Windsor were the last markets that it added to its schedule.
“It’s a significant milestone in our recovery, as we return to all of our year-round markets,” says Porter chief executive Michael Deluce. “Over 1,000 Porter team members are now at work supporting these efforts, as we focus on recalling our complete workforce and adding more flights in the coming months.”
The carrier adds that since its relaunch on 8 September, it has progressively added destinations. In addition to the six cities added to the network today, the airline also operates flights to Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Moncton, Halifax, St. John’s, and Thunder Bay in Canada and to Newark, Chicago, Boston and Washington DC in the USA.
In addition to these cities, Porter serves four more destinations on a seasonal basis only - Myrtle Beach, Mt. Tremblant, Muskoka and Stephenville.
Porter shut down operations on 20 March 2020, as the coronavirus crisis was beginning to make itself felt across the world. The federal and provincial governments of Canada introduced strict lockdown measures to stem the spread of the highly-contagious virus and the country’s borders were effectively closed, making air travel to, from and within the country difficult.
The airline delayed its restart 11 times.
But in June, Deluce had said the carrier received a federal loan for C$270 million ($215 million), including C$20 million set aside for passenger refunds, in order to help it relaunch.
Porter’s fleet consists of 29 De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 turboprops, of which 17 are in service, according to Cirium fleets data. The airline said in July it had ordered 30 Embraer 195-E2s and has options to acquire a further 50 of the jets.