Porter Airlines plans to begin flights to a couple of new US destinations by end-2012, as it launched its first flight today to Washington DC.

The airline's chief executive and president Robert Deluce says possible destinations include Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Detroit and Cleveland.

Atlanta could also be a viable option, he tells Flightglobal.

Washington DC Dulles airport is Porter's sixth US destination. It already operates to New York Newark, Chicago Midway, Boston Logan, and seasonally to Myrtle Beach and Burlington.

Porter began its flights from Toronto City Billy Bishop airport to Washington Dulles today, and will operate four times daily on the route by 14 May.

The airline first announced the new route in January as a thrice-daily flight, but added a fourth daily flight before it began operations due to high demand.

Deluce declines to share booking load factors, but says Washington DC is selling better than all of its other US destinations.

"This could be because there is much greater awareness of Porter now, and reflects the fact that we are now five and a half years old," he adds.

Porter is the only carrier operating between Toronto City and Washington Dulles. Air Canada operates non-stop between Washington National and Toronto Pearson International airport and United Airlines offers non-stop service between Washington Dulles and Toronto Pearson.

US Airways announced in March it will launch flights from Washington National to Toronto Pearson later this year.

Porter is the incumbent airline at Toronto City airport, which has an advantage over Toronto Pearson in its proximity to downtown Toronto.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news