Porter plans to resume an initial 12 routes

After a series of false dawns, the Canadian carrier is confident flights will finally restart in September.

Porter Airlines has outlined plans to resume 12 routes during September, nearly 18 months after suspending flights as a result of the pandemic.

The Canadian carrier has delayed the restart of flights several times, most recently hoping to reinstate service on July 20. However, Porter CEO and president Michael Deluce has vowed that the airline will return to the skies on Sept. 8.

“The pandemic has progressed to the point that we can now begin restoring service across our network, focused around our main base at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport,” he said.

“While deciding to suspend our service was the most difficult business decision we’ve made, announcing a restart of flights is the first step in a recovery process that includes recalling hundreds of team members and welcoming back passengers.”

From Sept. 8, flights will resume from Billy Bishop Toronto City (YTZ) to Ottawa (YOW), Montreal (YUL) and Thunder Bay (YQT). Five more domestic routes will also restart over the next nine days.

Additionally, Porter intends to operate four services to the US from Sept. 17, flying from YTZ to Boston (BOS), Chicago Midway (MDW), Newark (EWR) and Washington Dulles (IAD).

Flights to other year-round destinations normally operated by Porter are currently available for booking and set to resume as of Oct. 6. The carrier said service is returning “based on anticipated passenger demand, with frequency and markets increasing over time.”

The planned restart of flights comes less than a week after Porter’s parent company reached a deal with Canada’s government to access C$270.5 million ($219 million) in loans. Of this, C$20.5 million will be dedicated to issuing passenger refunds for flights cancelled during the pandemic. 

“We intend to draw on these funds as required in support of re-establishing operations through an uncertain period of travel demand,” Deluce said. “Our immediate focus is on being ready to fly again as soon as public health conditions allow and governments modify travel restrictions.”

Photo credit: Joe Pries

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