Canadian regional carrier is to inaugurate international flights between its base at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Melbourne. But, don’t panic this is not Melbourne, Australia, but Melbourne International Airport in Central Florida, USA, although this will still among the longest sector Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 flights in the world.
The new weekly seasonal flight will commence from December 19, 2015 and will operate every Saturday through to April 30, 2016 and will act as an alternate access point into Orlando and the many attractions within its vicinity.
The municipal airport is located just 20 minutes from Port Canaveral – the world’s second largest cruise port – 30 minutes from Kennedy Space Center and less than 10 minutes from the beach, while Orlando’s major attractions, including theme parks, are accessible via the I-95 within an hour’s drive.
“Many Canadians want to escape during the winter season, so including Central Florida as a seasonal service makes sense for our passengers,” said Robert Deluce, president and chief executive officer, Porter Airlines.
“We see this as a great opportunity to meet current requests that we have for Florida flights and demonstrate the demand that exists for Porter to serve the state in a more meaningful way long term,” he added.
Porter describes Orlando-Melbourne as “a great location for accessing many iconic attractions” but it will be the only operator to provide international flights to the airport, which is currently served by Delta Air Lines from Atlanta and US Airways Express from Charlotte.
“What a spectacular feeling to bring scheduled, international service to Melbourne, Florida, via Canada’s third largest scheduled carrier,” said Greg Donovan, executive director, Orlando-Melbourne International Airport. “This is a winner for travellers who will seize this opportunity to connect Canada’s largest city to the best of Florida via Porter’s innovative, non-stop service.
Canada is an important market for Florida's Space Coast and Air Canada, Air Transat, Sunwing Airlines and WestJet Airlines this year have schedules linking 16 Canadian cities with Orlando International Airport. A total of 3,873 flights are scheduled between Canada and Orlando for 2015 offering over 600,000 seats in each direction.
The new Porter flight will provide non-stop demand from downtown Toronto but also provides efficient schedules via Billy Bishop Airport to/from other locations across Canada including Montreal, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins and Windsor.
The Toronto City – Melbourne route has an estimated stage length of 1,736km making it the third longest Dash 8 scheduled flight, according to September 2015 flight schedule information from OAG Schedules Analyser. The following table highlights the current ten longest sector Dash 8 flights.
|1||Ethiopian Airlines (ET)||Addis Ababa (ADD)||Dar Es Salaam (DAR)||1,759|
|2||Yaktutia (R3)||Yakutsk (YKS)||Ulan-Ude (UUD)||1,756|
|3||Yaktutia (R3)||Yakutsk (YKS)||Bratsk (BTK)||1,701|
|4||Mirny Air Enterprise (6R)||Irkutsk (IKT)||Polyarny (PYJ)||1,625|
|5||South African Airways (SA)||Cape Town (CPT)||Hoedspruit (HDS)||1,601|
|6||Ethiopian Airlines (ET)||Addis Ababa (ADD)||Goma (GOM)||1,585|
|7||Tassili Airlines (SF)||Algeirs (ALG)||Tamanrasset (TMR)||1,558|
|8||Yaktutia (R3)||Yakutsk (YKS)||Khabarovsk (KHV)||1,543|
|9=||Malawian Airlines (3W)||Lilongwe (LLW)||Johannesburg (JNB)||1,489|
|9=||Yaktutia (R3)||Yakutsk (YKS)||Chita (HTA)||1,489|