Canadian regional carrier Porter Airlines says it is shutting down all operations until June, according to a notice on the airline’s website.
The Toronto-based regional carrier says on 18 March that the global coronavirus crisis is prompting the closure, which will begin at the end of operations on 20 March.
“COVID-19 is having an unprecedented effect on people around the world and Porter is determined to do our part to support the efforts of the Canadian, US and global authorities in their responses,” says Michael Deluce, Porter’s president and chief executive, in a note on the airline’s website.
”Restricting activities by people in all communities is what’s required to keep our team members and passengers healthy, and ultimately to end this fast-spreading pandemic. A temporary suspension of all flights allows the public health crisis to diminish and then time to restart our operations,” he says.
Porter is Canada’s third largest airline after Air Canada and WestJet, servicing 19 destinations in eastern and central Canada as well as the northeastern United States on a fleet of 29 De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Dash 8-400 aircraft. The airline has orders for 12 Airbus A220.
Deluce also says the airline will issue temporary layoffs and that executive team members will have their salaries cut up to 30% until flights resume. He and his father Robert Deluce, the airline’s executive chairman, will not receive any salary during this time.
The airline’s shutting down comes days after other Canadian airlines drastically cut their service, retracted earnings guidance, cancelled aircraft orders and requested government assistance.