Swoop Announces Major Expansion and Investment in Edmonton and Brings Nine New Routes to Alberta Capital

  • Ultra-low fare airline announces its largest expansion ever with eight new domestic routes as part of summer schedule and new non-stop service to Palm Springs
  • Brings enhanced connectivity to Atlantic Canada with first ever non-stop flights from Edmonton to New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and new non-stops to Nova Scotia
  • Reaffirms commitment to city by naming its newest aircraft #Edmonton
Tom Ruth, President and CEO of Edmonton International Airport welcomes Swoop's newest aircraft #Edmonton (CNW Group/Swoop)
Tom Ruth, President and CEO of Edmonton International Airport welcomes Swoop’s newest aircraft #Edmonton (CNW Group/Swoop)

EDMONTON, AB, Nov. 15, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low fare airline, reaffirmed its commitment to the Edmonton Metropolitan Region with the announcement of new service to one U.S. and eight domestic destinations from its Western Canadian base. The airline’s significant new investments were celebrated this morning alongside the unveiling of Swoop’s newest aircraft, which will fly with the name #Edmonton.

The airline’s growth will see Swoop’s flight capacity in Alberta’s capital increase 76% compared to pre-pandemic levels, supporting the creation of 140 additional direct and spin-off jobs and an anticipated $120M of economic output activityi in 2022.

From left to right (Juanita Marois, CEO, Métis Crossing, Tom Ruth, President & CEO, Edmonton International Airport, Charles Duncan, President of Swoop, Rajan Sawhney, Alberta Minister of Transportation, Rick Smith, Deputy Mayor of Leduc County, Tim Cartmell, City Councillor, City of Edmonton) (CNW Group/Swoop)
From left to right (Juanita Marois, CEO, Métis Crossing, Tom Ruth, President & CEO, Edmonton International Airport, Charles Duncan, President of Swoop, Rajan Sawhney, Alberta Minister of Transportation, Rick Smith, Deputy Mayor of Leduc County, Tim Cartmell, City Councillor, City of Edmonton) (CNW Group/Swoop)

“This is a major milestone for Swoop as we underscore our commitment to leading the way for ultra-low fare air travel in Canada and reaffirm our position as the airline with the most destinations from Edmonton,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “With a strong focus on growth and Edmonton as our partner, we will continue to provide our travellers with more non-stop flights and ultra-low fares while supporting the recovery of Canada’s travel and tourism economy.”

New non-stop flights to eight Canadian cities 

The addition of eight new Canadian destinations to Swoop’s summer schedule will see non-stop service from Edmonton to Charlottetown, Comox, Halifax, Kelowna, Moncton, Ottawa, Regina and Saskatoon. Swoop will be the first carrier to bring non-stop connectivity from Edmonton International Airport to Charlottetown and Moncton and the airline’s summer schedule will also see the restoration of service to London, Ont. 

Hello, Palm Springs!

Beginning December 16, Swoop’s transborder presence is growing from Edmonton with the addition of new service to Palm Springs. The scheduled non-stop service to Palm Springs will operate twice weekly.


To commemorate its history and commitment to Edmonton, Swoop celebrated the naming of its newest aircraft #Edmonton alongside key government leaders and business stakeholders at Edmonton International Airport.

Following the event, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft entered service for the operation of flight WO 770 departing Edmonton at 12:00 local time, en route to Phoenix (Mesa), Arizona with a scheduled arrival of 3:30 PM local time. Edmontonians can expect to see #Edmonton operating several of Swoop’s newly announced routes.

Full schedule details of Swoop’s service from Edmonton can be found below.

 Domestic Routes

RoutePeak Weekly
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
Base Fare
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
Edmonton – Halifax*5x weeklyMay 1, 2022$159$104.35$54.65
Edmonton – Charlottetown*2x weeklyJune 16, 2022$159$104.35$54.65
Edmonton – Kelowna*7x weeklyMay 5, 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Ottawa*4x weeklyApril 25, 2022$59$9.12$49.88
Edmonton – Comox*3x weeklyJune 9, 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Regina*2x weeklyJune 16. 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Saskatoon*2x weeklyJune 14, 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Moncton*2x weeklyJune 17, 2022$159$104.35$54.65
Edmonton – London3x weeklyJune 2, 2022$59$9.11$49.88
Edmonton – Winnipeg4x weeklyContinuing$160$105.30$54.69
Edmonton – Toronto14x weeklyContinuing$59$9.12$49.88
Edmonton – Hamilton7x weeklyContinuing$60$10.06$49.94
Edmonton – Abbotsford7x weeklyContinuing$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Victoria7x weeklyContinuing$60$12.06$47.94
†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between May 2 and June 22, 2022.

Transborder Routes

RoutePeak Weekly
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
Base Fare
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
Edmonton – Las Vegas7x weeklyContinuing$99$8.84$90.16
Edmonton – Phoenix (Mesa)1x weeklyContinuing$110$18.36$91.63
† Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between May 2 and June 22, 2022.

New Service to Palm Springs

RoutePeak Weekly
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
Base Fare
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
Edmonton – Palm Springs*2x WeeklyDecember 16, 2021$99$7.89$91.11
†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between January 10 and February 19, 2022.

Supporting Quotes

“Swoop’s commitment to Edmonton is a clear sign that there is confidence in Alberta’s Recovery Plan. The new routes across Canada and to Palm Springs open up exciting opportunities for tourism and business.”

  • Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Transportation

“I want to thank Swoop for supporting the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Having increased connections across Canada and beyond through Edmonton International Airport is vital for our region. As a major city contributing to Alberta’s recovery, strong air service will help us create jobs and grow our economy.”

  • Amarjeet Sohi, Mayor of Edmonton

“Next time you hear a plane passing over, look up, look way up, and you just might see #Edmonton flying by. Thank you Swoop for naming one of your fleet after our great community, we’re honoured you will help carry the name Edmonton across Canada and North America. Your dedication to the Edmonton Metropolitan Region is helping bring more low-cost travel options for our passengers and we can’t wait for these new destinations to start.”

  • Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Edmonton International Airport

To learn more about Swoop please visit FlySwoop.com and for information on how Swoop is ensuring a safe and healthy travel experience visit FlySwoop.com/traveller-safety.

About Swoop

Swoop is on a mission to make travel more affordable and accessible for all Canadians. Established in 2018 as an independent subsidiary of the WestJet Group of Companies, Swoop is Canada’s ultra-not-expensive airline. Offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, Swoop’s unbundled fares put travellers in control of purchasing only the products and services they desire.

Swoop’s modern fleet of ten Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity has safely carried more than 3 million travellers in three years of operation. FlySwoop.com allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.     

Source: Swoop 2022 Edmonton International Airport Economic Impacts performed by the Chris Lowe Group

London International Airport to receive $4.5 million from FedDev Ontario to maintain regional connectivity and jobs

Targeted federal support for regional air transportation ecosystem in London area

August 3, 2021 – London, ON – Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario  (FedDev Ontario)

Regional air transportation is crucial to local economic growth, the movement of people and goods across the country and maintaining operations with our trading partners. The pandemic has had major impacts on regional air transportation ecosystems, affecting communities and local businesses from coast to coast to coast.

The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) supports access to air transportation and regional ecosystems. In particular, it enables the continuation of existing air routes and ensures airports remain operational and able to contribute to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements.

Targeted support for London air transportation ecosystem

With this in mind, today, Kate Young, Member of Parliament for London West and Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament for London North Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) announced a non-repayable FedDev Ontario contribution of $4.5 million for the London International Airport.

London International Airport is a key transportation asset that, in 2019, served nearly 700,000 passengers, with 40 commercial airline departures daily to over 14 destinations. During the pandemic, the airport experienced declines of over 90 percent in passenger volumes. This non-repayable investment will provide liquidity support to enable continued critical regional air operations and services by helping the airport to cover fixed operating expenses. This project will also support critical operational services, reinstate regional air routes and maintain jobs in the London region.

Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses right across Canada. It is essential to connecting Canadians living in rural and remote communities to urban centres, delivering Canadian goods to the global market and welcoming international visitors to all parts of the country, when it is safe to do so.


“London is a city that has a proven track record of attracting global companies, investments and talent. Critical to the region’s economic success is London’s air transportation infrastructure, that fosters economic growth and regional connectivity. Through this non-repayable investment in London International Airport, the Government of Canada is helping to support the region’s air transportation ecosystem and strengthen connectivity, supporting a strong and prosperous future for the region beyond the pandemic.”

  • Kate Young, Member of Parliament for London West

“The support for London International Airport will provide an immense benefit to the residents and businesses of London and the surrounding region by allowing them to safely access a growing regional air network. These investments will help continue to provide communities with high quality air services that not only bring people and businesses together, but also supports the future success of our economy and our rising regional sectors.”

  • Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament for London North Centre

“It is important to protect our regional air transportation ecosystems for the thousands of workers employed by this sector and for the many businesses and communities that depend on it. We know that air connectivity to all regions is essential to healthy, inclusive economic growth, and supporting it is part of our plan to build back a stronger, more resilient economy.”

  • The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario

“The role played by London International Airport in our city’s transportation strategy is absolutely vital, and the sky is truly the limit when forecasting its potential. Prior to the pandemic, the London International Airport had seen record growth across all meaningful metrics. As restrictions continue to ease, and traveller confidence increases, this investment will help ensure the airport is exceptionally well-positioned to once again establish itself as southwestern Ontario’s premier hub for air travel.”  

  • His Worship Ed Holder, Mayor, City of London

“We are grateful to receive the non-repayable FedDev Ontario support that will aid our recovery and help us get back on our feet, as London International Airport faces a profound impact from the pandemic. This support will help us keep jobs and cover operating expenses as passengers make their return to travel through southwestern Ontario’s ‘easy and comfortable’ airport.”

  • Mike Seabrook, President and CEO, London International Airport

Quick facts

  • Recognizing the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the air transportation sector, the Government of Canada introduced the Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) to help businesses and organizations in regional air transportation ecosystems to remain operational through these difficult times and continue to support the economic growth of our regions.
  • With a national budget of $206 million over two years, Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) are delivering this support, with FedDev Ontario delivering $24.2 million in southern Ontario. The RATI complements the measures in Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.
  • The Initiative supports regional air ecosystems—which include regional air carriers and airports, as well as SMEs and non-profit organizations—in developing and implementing enhanced services for improved regional connectivity.
  • The RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.
  • Since November 1, 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested over $143 million in 83 projects in the Middlesex census division.

Associated links

Airshow London named #1 air show in North America

by USA Today

London, Ontario – July 16, 2021 – Airshow London has been named the best air show in North America by the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award Contest, a property of USA Today.

Nominees for the 2021 contest were chosen by a panel of industry experts and editors from USA Today and 10Best.com, followed by the public being invited to vote daily for four weeks to determine a winner. Airshow London was the only Canadian air show on this year’s list.

“We are extremely proud to have been voted the best air show in North America this year. Being the only Canadian show nominated was already an awesome compliment but to win, wow, we are so thankful,” expressed Holly Doty, Airshow London Executive Director. “Our team of staff and volunteers dedicate so much of their time and energy to put on an incredible event for our guests, and this show of support from our fans across North America for the new COVID-19-friendly SkyDrive format validates our efforts.”

Airshow London made history last year when it hosted a sold-out socially responsible and physically distant air show during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was Canada’s only air show in 2020 and the first ever drive-in. “SkyDrive” welcomed 5,000 parked vehicles (20,000 people) over two days to the London International Airport and hosted an unprecedented seven U.S. military demonstration teams.

This year’s show will be another spectacular showcase of military aviation highlighted by Canadian participation from the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and the CF-18 Demonstration Team, and U.S. participation from the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the F-16 Viper Demonstration Team and the C-17 Demonstration Team.

“We are so grateful for the continued support and participation from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Air Force and other organizations which attract a lot of attention from fans, locally and from afar,” says Gerry Vanderhoek, Airshow London Director of Air Operations. This continued support over Airshow London’s five years has been an integral part of growing the show’s reputation as one of the best military displays in Canada and the U.S.

This award is in addition to the Blue Sky Innovation Award given to Airshow London earlier this year by the Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC) for its innovation, success and adaptation to a large scale COVID-19-safe event.

For more information on this year’s SkyDrive, August 27-29, visit airshowlondon.com or @airshowlondon on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

London airport sees more activity as restrictions lift for international travellers

From CTV News – link to source story and video – thanks to PN

Jaden Lee-Lincoln, Video Journalist, CTV News London | Monday, July 12, 2021

LONDON, ONT. — As travel restrictions lift, including the two week quarantine for international travellers who are double vaccinated, the London International Airport has seen more activity.

“We’re seeing some more travellers and in discussion with airlines we’re also seeing more activity going into the future,” said Michael Seabrook, President & CEO of the London International Airport.

Although business is nowhere near where it was 16 months ago, in July, travel agencies have started seeing an uptick on people looking to book those international getaways.

Alice Tse, Manager of Posh Travel Agency, says most people are booking trips for November and December.

But it’s not a sunny trip down South Londoners are looking for the most.

Tse says the majority are trying to visit their family for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

“We do have a lot of people going to Middle East and Eastern Europe,” said Tse.

Seabrook has also seen this trend come through his airport.

“We have a lot of Europeans that reside here, have relatives in Europe that haven’t seen their friends and loved ones in a long time so I would say that’s the biggest one,” he said. 

WestJet reconnecting Alberta routes

Airline to restart 10 routes across province and inaugurate new service from Edmonton to Penticton, Kamloops and Nanaimo

Non-stop service between Calgary-Charlottetown to launch on July 29

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ -WestJet is further restoring Alberta’s domestic and interprovincial connectivity with the restart of 10 routes to and from destinations across British Columbia, the Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia from Calgary, Edmonton and Medicine Hat. The airline will also start operation of three new routes to and from Edmonton and begin non-stop service between Calgary and Charlottetown. Full schedule details and resumption dates are outlined below.

“We continue to work towards the restoration of our pre-COVID domestic network to ensure that when our guests are ready to travel, we are there for them,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet remains committed to building back stronger for the betterment of all Canadians, and as we look ahead to reconnecting friends, family and loved ones, the safe restart of travel is essential to Canada’s economic recovery.”

Connecting Alberta to Prince Edward Island non-stop

After being delayed due to the pandemic, WestJet will bridge new domestic connections between the east and the west with the introduction of new twice-weekly, non-stop service between Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Calgary, beginning July 29. The service connecting the two provinces was previously scheduled to start in June 2020.

WestJet’s investments are critical to ensuring Alberta’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and this July, WestJet will offer non-stop service from Calgary to 42 cities and from Edmonton to 16 cities. 

“This week’s meeting with more than 70 Northern Alberta industry partners demonstrates the value of listening to our partners as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic. We thank Premier Kenney and his government for leading the safe restart of travel for Albertans. While progress has been made in Alberta, we continue to advocate for a safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

Love Where You’re Going Again – WestJet’s Latest Video

For more than 17 months, Canadians from coast-to-coast have been separated from the people and places they love. WestJet’s latest brand moment is a reminder to Canadians that it’s time to love where they’re going, again.

Alberta route restarts between now and July 6, 2021

RoutePeak FrequencyRoute restart date
Edmonton – Nanaimo*2x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Regina 6x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Comox 5x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Calgary – Prince George4x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Calgary – London, Ont.4x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Winnipeg 6x weeklyJune 30, 2021
Calgary – Windsor2x weeklyJune 26, 2021
Calgary – Whitehorse2x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Calgary – Medicine Hat5x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Edmonton – Halifax 2x weeklyJuly 1, 2021
Edmonton – Penticton*2x weeklyJuly 3, 2021
Edmonton – Kamloops*2x weeklyJuly 4, 2021
Edmonton – Saskatoon 6x weeklyJuly 6, 2021
Calgary – Charlottetown *2x weeklyJuly 29, 2021
*New route

About WestJet 

In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

Air Transat unveils its winter 2021-22 program

Nearly 50 destinations on three continents will be offered, including two new ones: Miami and Fort Myers

MONTREAL, June 16, 2021 /CNW/ – Air Transat is proud to present its winter 2021-22 flight program. Starting November 1, it will offer flights to nearly 50 destinations throughout the CaribbeanMexicoCentral and South Americathe United States and Europe.

This program also features two new destinations in Florida—Miami and Fort Myers, with direct flights from Montreal—in addition to flights already scheduled for Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

“We know that our clients are eager to travel, whether it’s to visit loved ones or for a change of scenery,” says Annick Guérard, President and CEO of Transat. “And we are sure to meet this strong, pent-up demand with the rich variety of destinations we are offering this winter. Plus, by adding Miami and Fort Myers to our program, we are consolidating our position in the United States, a popular sun destination for Canadian travellers.”

Starting December 2021, Air Transat will fly to Miami four times a week, and to Fort Myers twice a week.

Flights to three continents this winter

To quench Canadians’ wanderlust, direct flights will be offered from eight Canadian cities: Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, London, Halifax and Moncton.

In addition to flights to the South, Air Transat will also offer vacationers a selection of South packages, featuring 290 properties and four collections: LuxuryOut of OfficeFamily and Solo.

From Montreal, Air Transat will operate direct flights to Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Martinique, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, El Salvador and the United States.

Travellers from Toronto will be able to fly direct to Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, St. Maarten and the United States.

From Quebec City, seven sunny destinations will be accessible by direct flight to Cuba, the United States, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

And lastly, to allow Canadians to travel across their country and to increase connecting opportunities to international destinations, Air Transat will also operate domestic flights between Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and Vancouver.

As for Europe, Air Transat will gradually offer direct flights from Montreal to France, Portugal, Spain and Italy. There will also be direct flights from Toronto to the United Kingdom, Portugal, the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy, and from Quebec City to France.

It is important to note that, should the situation change and force the company to alter its flight schedule, clients affected by cancellations would be eligible for a refund.

For travel inspiration and details on routes offered, travellers are invited to visit the dedicated page on the Air Transat website.

About Air Transat

Air Transat is Canada’s number one leisure airline. It flies to some 60 international destinations in more than 25 countries in the Americas and Europe, offers domestic and connecting flights within Canada, and carries some 5 million passengers every year. Air Transat is a business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., a leading integrated international tourism company specializing in holiday travel and offering vacation packages, hotel stays and air travel. Transat was awarded Travelife certification in 2018 in recognition of its commitment to sustainable development. Its head office is located in Montreal.

Recent distinctions and awards

  • World’s Best Leisure Airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards
  • Ranked 2nd Travel and Leisure Company and 57th overall on Forbes World’s Best Employers List
  • Best Tour Operator and Favourite Overall Supplier at the Agents’ Choice Awards presented by Baxter Travel Media

CF Snowbirds Operation Inspiration at London SkyDrive

Canadian Forces Snowbirds Confirm Performance at Airshow London 2021

London, Ontario – June 3, 2021 – Airshow London is extremely excited to announce the addition of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds to an already thrilling list of performers for SkyDrive 2021, Canada’s original drive-in air show, taking place August 27-29 at the London International Airport.

Airshow London is proud to welcome back Canada’s national military demonstration team as they continue last year’s Operation Inspiration, uniting and inspiring Canadians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Flying under Operation Inspiration will also provide the opportunity to carry on the legacy of Captain Jenn Casey, the Snowbirds Public Affairs Officer, who was pivotal in creating this cross-country tour last year. Both the Snowbirds and CF-18 Demonstration team are honoured to continue this work and Airshow London is honoured to host both teams this August.

The air show itself will offer a rare and exciting line-up of Canadian and American Forces aircraft, headlined by the United States Navy Blue Angels. Additional confirmed performances include the United States Air Force F-16 Viper Demonstration and C-17 Globemaster Demonstration. This year’s added Friday night show will also feature a special flyby from two United States Air Force B-1B Lancers. Airshow London is looking forward to announcing more performers leading up to the show.

“As a proud Canadian air show, we look forward to hosting both our national teams in an effort to continue to unite Canadians through Operation Inspiration. We invite our community to join us, support us and get excited with us, as we get back together in a safe and responsible way,” says Jim Graham, Chair, Airshow London.

This is the second year for Airshow London’s socially responsible and physically distant drive-in format, following last year’s hugely successful sold out event and the only air show to take place in Canada.

Tickets for the show must be purchased in advance and are sold per vehicle for up to 6 passengers. Tickets can be purchased at airshowlondon.com.

For more information and the full list of performers, visit airshowlondon.com or @airshowlondon on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Porter in talks with Pearson, other airports for passenger jet service


A Porter Airlines flight makes its final approach as it lands at the airport on July 2, 2019 in Ottawa. ADRIAN WYLD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Porter Airlines has approached Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and other airports in southern Ontario about establishing a passenger jet service postpandemic, sources say, a shift in strategy for the carrier that is blocked from flying jets at its base on the Toronto Islands.

Porter’s move comes as the carrier is reportedly buying 30 passenger jets from Embraer of Brazil.

Porter has long sought to fly jets out of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, but those plans have been prevented by the federal government owing to concerns that include noise, pollution and the impact of the longer runway that would be required.

“We’re not relocating from Billy Bishop to any airport,” said Brad Cicero, a Porter spokesman, who declined to address a question about seeking slots at Toronto Pearson.

Porter’s founder and executive chairman Robert Deluce did not respond to interview requests. Porter declined to make Michael Deluce, the founder’s son and current chief executive, available for an interview.

Porter’s talks with the airport authorities are preliminary, according to two people familiar with the matter whom the Globe and Mail agreed not to name because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

In addition to Toronto Pearson, Porter has approached airports including Ottawa, Hamilton, Kitchener and London, one of the sources said. The airports declined to comment or did not respond to interview requests.

On May 13, trade publication Airfinance Journal reported Porter is the buyer of 30 Embraer E195 E2 jets, a narrow-body medium-range jet that seats as many as 150 people. Embraer declined by e-mail to name the buyer of the jets.

Porter flies a fleet of 29 Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes that hold about 65 to 78 people.

Mr. Cicero would not answer questions about the reported purchase of the Embraer planes. “This isn’t our order,” he said. “We have no plans to switch our fleet. Our focus continues to be on relaunching operations in 2021 with the existing Dash 8-400 fleet.”

John Gradek, who teaches aviation leadership at McGill University, said Porter has no room to grow at its Toronto island airport base, and is forced to fly planes at less-than capacity owing to the short, 3,900-foot runway. He speculated the airline is relaunching itself with a new fleet prior to a sale. (Porter’s public offering in 2010 failed.)

“It’s a radical departure from the airline that we know,” said Addison Schonland of boutique aerospace consultancy AirInsight. “The business model looks like it is changing.”

Porter in 2013 placed a $2-billion conditional order for as many as 30 Bombardier CSeries jets, now known as the Airbus A220. The airline sought to extend the island airport runway by 200 metres to accommodate the larger aircraft but faced stiff local opposition.

In 2015, then transport minister Marc Garneau blocked Porter’s plans to fly jets from the island.

That decision stands, a spokeswoman for current Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said. “Our government has no plans to amend the tripartite agreement between the federal government, the City of Toronto and PortsToronto to allow jet aircraft to use Billy Bishop Airport,” Allison St-Jean said.

“There are no plans or negotiations to discuss jets at Billy Bishop Airport with either of our tripartite partners,” said Deborah Wilson, a spokeswoman for PortsToronto, the government agency that owns and operates the airport.

An Airbus spokeswoman said: “While we of course would welcome more Canadian carriers to select the Canadian designed and built A220, we do not comment on discussion we may or may not be having with airlines.”

Porter’s 2013 order is not part of Airbus’s backlog list, which had 494 planes ordered but not yet built at the end of April, 2021. Airbus is building A220 jets at a rate of five a month in factories in Mirabel, Que. and Mobile, Ala., with plans to expand output when appropriate to a maximum of 14 planes a month.

Porter, which has not flown since March 21, 2020, owing to the pandemic, recently pushed back its relaunch date to July 20.

Privately-owned Porter, which employed 1,500 before the pandemic, flies to several Canadian, U.S. and holiday destinations, but is perhaps best known for business travel given its proximity to downtown Toronto. Business travel is expected to recover from the pandemic last, after family-related flights and tourism.

In good times, Porter accounts for 85 per cent of plane traffic at the island airport, while Air Canada makes up the rest. Porter sold the airport terminal to Nieuport Aviation, controlled by New York-based J.P. Morgan Asset Management Inc., in 2015 for more than $700-million.

Neil Pakey, CEO of Nieuport, declined to comment on Porter’s plan for jets at other airports. Mr. Pakey said he and the airline are focused on Porter’s restart in July.

Porter’s talks come as it continues discussions with the federal government over financial aid to blunt the effects of the pandemic on the business. In March, 2020, the airline received a $135-million loan through Export Development Canada and indicated earlier in May that it is in negotiations for more aid. The government has said any help from the taxpayer comes with conditions that include “protecting jobs across the air sector.”