Category: Porter Airlines

Air Canada, WestJet update travel alerts as latest winter storm hits with full force

News provided by TravelWeek.ca

Air Canada, WestJet update travel alerts as latest winter storm hits with full...

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 Posted by Travelweek Group

TORONTO — Air Canada and several other airlines have updated their travel alerts for upwards of 20 gateways in Canada and the U.S., as a massive winter storm sweeps through Ontario, Quebec and onwards to the east, disrupting flights and causing travel snarls.

The weather may be frightful but the wind and snow are also keeping the phones ringing off the hook at travel agencies and tour operators, making for one of the best winter seasons in the travel industry in years.

Air Canada already had more than a dozen cities with travel alerts posted yesterday and has since added to that list. Passengers on impacted flights won’t incur flight change fees if they need to alter their travel plans.

Air Canada has issued travel alerts for some 20 gateways impacted by the storm, including: Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto (YTZ and YYZ), Sydney, Sept-Iles, Saint John, NB, Quebec City, Ottawa, New York (EWR and LGA), Montreal, Moncton, Hartford, Gaspe, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Boston and Bathurst, NB.

The Air Canada alerts apply for flights both today and tomorrow (Feb. 12 and Feb. 13).

WestJet is also allowing flight changes without fees, for the following cities and regions, all due to winter storm systems: Comox, Abbotsford, Nanaimo, Vancouver and Victoria (through Feb. 12); New York region (Feb. 12); Southern Ontario (Feb. 12); Fredericton, Halifax, Moncton, Sydney and Charlottetown (Feb. 13); Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal (Feb. 12 – 13) and Gander and St. John’s (Feb. 14).

Porter Airlines also has several cities on its Travel Alerts page for Feb. 12, including Boston, Montreal, New York (EWR), Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and Toronto.

Currently on Toronto Pearson Airport’s departures web page there are more red ‘Cancelled’ notifications than green ‘Departed’ notifications for flights within Ontario and to gateways in Quebec and the Maritimes, however most sun destination flights and flights heading west to cities like Vancouver are mostly departing just fine.

This latest winter storm in what’s already been a proper snowy and cold winter across much of Canada, is a ‘Colorado low’ moving northeast from the U.S. The storm has been pelting Ontario with snow, ice and high winds on Tuesday, with Canada’s weather agency warning residents to brace for worsening weather before the system moved east into Quebec.

Environment Canada issued widespread winter storm warnings across Ontario, with everything from freezing rain in the southwestern part of the province to as much as 40 centimetres of snow near the Ottawa region expected today.

Schools and post-secondary institutions across the province called off classes. The closures in Ontario may be a sign of things to come for the rest of the country, said Environment Canada meteorologist Gerald Cheng, adding the system promises to make itself felt in Quebec and all points east in the coming days.

“It’s not just affecting parts of Ontario, it’s also affecting Quebec and eventually all the Atlantic provinces,” he said. “Basically, a lot of people in eastern Canada will be affected by this storm.”

Cheng said moisture the storm system will have gathered on its way north will result in freezing rain falling on a large stretch of southwestern Ontario from Windsor to London. As it moves north, however, Cheng said the precipitation will shift to a combination of snow and ice pellets.

That mix is expected to fall on the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding regions, he said, bringing between 15 and 25 centimetres of combined precipitation.

Snowfall totals are expected to rise as the storm travels east, he said, adding the Ottawa area can brace for as much as 40 centimetres.

The storm is expected to hit Quebec overnight and into Wednesday morning, he added.

“This is a big storm, and not only are we talking about the precipitation … winds can gust up to 80 kilometres per hour,” he said.


With files from The Canadian Press

Toronto-bound Porter flight makes emergency landing in Pennsylvania

News provided by cbc.ca

Flight from Newark lands in Pennsylvania after engine trouble

The Associated Press · Posted: Feb 07, 2019 1:35 PM ET

A Porter aircraft taxis at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport in 2013. A flight bound for Toronto was forced to make an emergency landing on Wednesday in Pennsylvania. (Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

A plane carrying about 30 passengers from Newark, N.J., to Toronto has made an emergency landing at an airport in Pennsylvania’s Poconos Mountains.

WNEP-TV said all passengers and crew are fine after the plane landed at the Scranton International Airport.

Airport executive director Carl Beardsley tells the news station the Porter Airlines plane had engine trouble and landed safely.

He said another plane is taking the passengers to their destination in Canada.

Toronto-based Porter Airlines operates numerous flights a day between the U.S. and Canada. No details were available on the plane, but television footage from the airport showed the turboprop-powered plane with one propeller apparently not working.

Porter Airlines opening Thunder Bay aircraft maintenance base

Provided by Porter Airlines Inc/CNW

THUNDER BAY, ON, Jan. 8, 2019 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines is opening an aircraft maintenance base at Thunder Bay International Airport, as of February 2019. This development contributes to Porter servicing its fleet of 29 Bombardier Q400 aircraft and will create 18 jobs in the city. 

“Thunder Bay is an important location in Porter’s network,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “This latest investment in a maintenance base demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the community.”

Porter Airlines is opening an aircraft maintenance base at Thunder Bay International Airport, as of February 2019. This development contributes to Porter servicing its fleet of 29 Bombardier Q400 aircraft and will create 18 jobs in the city. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines Inc.)
Porter Airlines is opening an aircraft maintenance base at Thunder Bay International Airport, as of February 2019. This development contributes to Porter servicing its fleet of 29 Bombardier Q400 aircraft and will create 18 jobs in the city. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines Inc.)

Porter has recently made significant investments in Northern Ontario, including opening a base for pilots and flight attendants in Thunder Bay one year ago.

“This decision is excellent news for the city,” said Bill Mauro, Mayor of Thunder Bay. “It benefits the economy by introducing quality jobs and supports our airport as a regional hub for moving people and goods.” 

The maintenance base will be located in an existing hangar at the airport. Porter engineers will perform daily overnight maintenance on two aircraft that will return to service the following day.

“We greatly appreciate the continued confidence Porter has displayed in Thunder Bay,” said Ed Schmidtke, president and CEO of Thunder Bay International Airports Authority. “Since initiating service in 2009, Porter has consistently contributed to the airport’s growth by increasing flights, passenger volumes and local employment.”

Porter currently operates up to seven daily roundtrip flights between the city and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

Nieuport Aviation Celebrates the Completion of Gates at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Provided by Nieuport Aviation Infrastructure Partners GP/Globe Newswire

TORONTO, Dec. 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nieuport Aviation Infrastructure Partners GP (Nieuport Aviation) is pleased to announce the completion of upgraded gates at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport ahead of a busy holiday season. The airport’s passenger terminal now features a total of 11 gates, 7 of which were re-built and one added. The project is part of the terminal upgrade initiatives completed by Nieuport Aviation, owner and operator of the passenger terminal, to enhance the experience of passengers at the airport.  


PortsToronto EVP Gene Cabral, Nieuport Aviation CEO Neil Pakey and Porter Airlines EVP and CCO Michael Deluce in front of the new gate.

“Nieuport Aviation has been up to the task of investing in infrastructure projects to keep pace with customer demands, at no cost to the customer,” said Neil Pakey, CEO of Nieuport Aviation. “The project was the result of collaboration with our dedicated partners, and was completed with great efficiency and care with the passenger experience in mind.”

The construction of the gates allows for a better passenger experience by increasing flexibility for peak travel periods, introducing new hand rails for greater accessibility, additional space for passenger line ups, as well as roll up doors to conserve energy within the gates.

“All of the upgrades to the lounges have been intended, designed and implemented with the passenger experience as top priority. This was true in the way the gate construction was undertaken and it is true in the end result which will positively affect flow. Having 11 gates will ensure that Billy Bishop Airport can get its passengers where they need to go by providing increased efficiency and flexibility, especially in peak flow periods,” said Geoffrey Wilson, CEO of PortsToronto.

During the installation of the new gates, the passenger experience was not compromised as a result of PCL Construction’s innovative temporary gate module solution. PCL fabricated 24 temporary gate modules at its offsite manufacturing facility, and delivered the modules by ferry to the passenger terminal. The gates were installed in three phases to ensure time efficiencies and to alleviate any impact to customers, airport ground crews and plane traffic.

“In partnership with Nieuport and PortsToronto, PCL was honoured to enhance the passenger experience at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport,” said Kelly Wallace, Vice President and District Manager of PCL Constructors Canada Inc. (Toronto). “Through Nieuport’s adoption of our modular solution, we were able to deliver a high-quality product in a controlled environment, while providing added value through cost savings, speed to market, and with limited impact to airport operations.”

“This project marks the end of a busy and successful year for us,” added Pakey. “In addition to the gates, we completed an upgrade to the lounges adding more space, comfort and modern design features such as new seating options, more electronic charging stations, refreshed business areas, as well as six new restaurants and retail stores offering great selection to passengers.”

Plan your escape to Myrtle Beach with Porter’s seasonal service

News provided by Cision Canada/Porter Airlines Inc

ORONTO, Nov. 29, 2018 /CNW/ – Now is the time to start planning your escape with Porter Airlines’ seasonal service to Myrtle Beach, beginning February 13, to May 19, 2019.

Porter offers non-stop flights directly from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Flights operate twice weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with added frequency during March Break. Tickets are available now through www.flyporter.com or your travel agent.

Plan your escape to Myrtle Beach with Porter’s seasonal service. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines Inc.)
Plan your escape to Myrtle Beach with Porter’s seasonal service. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines Inc.)
Ocean-front hotels, sandy beaches, and more than 100 golf courses in the area, make Myrtle Beach an ideal vacation for the entire family. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines Inc.)
Ocean-front hotels, sandy beaches, and more than 100 golf courses in the area, make Myrtle Beach an ideal vacation for the entire family. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines Inc.)

“The warm air and ocean breezes of Myrtle Beach are just two-hours away with Porter,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines. “It’s the perfect time of year to think about getting away for a few days of relaxation.”

Ocean-front hotels, sandy beaches, and more than 100 golf courses in the area, make Myrtle Beach an ideal vacation for the entire family.

Porter Escapes (www.porterescapes.com) vacation packages help make the trip south simple with accommodation at some of Myrtle Beach’s most sought-after resorts:

  • Doubletree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront
  • Sheraton Broadway Plantation
  • Westgate Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort

For a seamless experience, book your attractions and tee times in advance:

Legends in Concert
This international award-winning production features an outstanding cast of accomplished tribute artists, talented singers and dancers with a live band, bringing the music experience to life. A must see show in Myrtle Beach!

Brookgreen Gardens
A national historic landmark encompassing more than 9,000 acres in the South Carolina Lowcountry. The three main features of Brookgreen Gardens are the Huntington Sculpture Garden, the Center for American Sculpture, and the Lowcountry History and Wildlife Preserve.

Connecting flights are available via Toronto from numerous Porter destinations. Complete schedule details are available at www.flyporter.com.

Follow @PorterAirlines on Twitter and Instagram for travel ideas, tips and advice on all of Porter’s destinations. 

Porter Airlines sponsors Northern Lights Mentorship Program

News provided by CNW and Porter Airlines Inc

Attracting women to careers in aviation and aerospace

TORONTO, Nov. 26, 2018 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines is sponsoring a new mentorship program with The Northern Lights Aero Foundation to attract and retain more women in aviation and aerospace.

Porter Airlines is sponsoring a new mentorship program with The Northern Lights Aero Foundation to attract and retain more women in aviation and aerospace. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines Inc.)
Porter Airlines is sponsoring a new mentorship program with The Northern Lights Aero Foundation to attract and retain more women in aviation and aerospace. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines Inc.)

The Northern Lights Mentorship Program is designed to connect aspiring and experienced aviation professionals. Participants will broaden their professional networks, receive practical advice and form a support network to help guide them through their career. Mentors, both male and female, will motivate and inspire women to pursue opportunities in aviation and aerospace while enhancing their leadership and communication skills.

“Women are generally underrepresented in aviation and aerospace. The Northern Lights Mentorship Program helps break down barriers by connecting women with mentors who know the industry and generally have a passion for what they do and want to share it with other aviation enthusiasts,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “There are many opportunities within aviation – from being a pilot, to a maintenance engineer or dispatcher – having someone to help navigate the path forward is invaluable.”

The Northern Lights Mentorship Program focuses on three phases of career planning and connects participants with mentors who can best support them:

  1. Considering a career within aviation and aerospace (imagining)
  2. Training and development (training)
  3. Established within the industry (developing)

“It is so important, in the pursuit of bringing in and retaining more women in this industry, to have a tool whereby they can have mentors suited to their needs, whether it is in simply considering a career, the struggles in training or discovering new pathways,” said Joy Parker Blackwood, President, Northern Lights Aero Foundation. “The new mentorship program supports our mission to create career opportunities in aviation and aerospace for Canadian women.”

“Throughout the various stages of my professional life, my mentors have helped me in countless ways make informed decisions about my career choices and allowed me to build a network of immeasurable connections. Their advice and willingness to share their personal experiences with me were constant sources of inspiration and support and I feel it is my duty to pay it forward by mentoring others so they too can succeed,” said Eva Martinez, Vice President, In-Service Support, PAL Aerospace. “One of the benefits of mentoring is the invaluable relationships that develop over time. These help me become a better person, role model and leader.”

Porter’s sponsorship of the mentorship program includes funds and in-kind services for its development and design. The program launched at the Northern Lights Awards Gala on September 29, an annual event honouring outstanding women in Canadian aviation and aerospace.

Join The Northern Lights Mentorship Program as a mentor or mentee by visiting the website.

Porter’s support of the Northern Lights Aero Foundation stems from its Women Soar at Porter program, which launched in 2016. The program is led by dedicated Porter volunteers who actively promote opportunities that exist for women in aviation. At Porter, female pilots represent approximately 13% of the total group, versus approximately 5% for the overall industry. Porter has the highest percentage of female pilots in Canada.

Betterez Appoints CCO of Porter Airlines, Michael Deluce, to Board of Directors

News provided by Betterez Canada Inc.

TORONTONov. 8, 2018 /CNW/ – Betterez, a Toronto-based tech startup modernizing the ticketing and reservations systems of worldwide operators in the ground travel industry, announces the appointment of Porter Airlines Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer, Michael Deluce to its Board of Directors.

“Betterez is one of the most advanced ground travel ticket management companies in the market,” says Michael Deluce, EVP and CCO, Porter Airlines. “I’m thrilled to be joining the board where I can contribute to driving technological innovation in the industry around the globe.”

An aviation industry leader, Mr. Deluce was a founding team member of Porter Airlines, an award-winning Toronto-based airline focused on delivering refined airline experiences. As Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, he oversees all commercial aspects of the business and continues to have a central role in defining Porter’s strategy. He has been Director of Allegro Merger Corp since April 2018. Since May 2016, he has served on the Board of Directors of UBS Bank (Canada). He also holds an MBA from the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey School of Business.

“We are extremely pleased to announce the addition of Michael Deluce, EVP and CCO of Porter Airlines, to our Board of Directors,” says Tal Shalit, Founder and CEO, Betterez. “Mr. Deluce’s deep industry experience and strategic vision will undoubtedly add value to our business as we expand across Canada and throughout the world.”

In addition to Michael Deluce, Betterez’s Board of Directors includes: Donald J. Carty, Former CEO and Chairman of American Airlines, Antoine de Kerviler, Global Head of Rail & Ground Travel, Amadeus IT Group, Tal Shalit, Co-founder & CEO, Betterez, and Raj Singh (Board Observer), Managing Director, JetBlue Technology Ventures.

What’s the dirtiest surface on an airplane? The result may surprise you

Marketplace analyzed over 100 samples on 18 flights, finding mould, staph and potentially harmful pathogens

Marketplace tested more than 100 samples collected on 18 Porter, Air Canada and WestJet flights, swabbing the seatbelt, tray table, headrest, seat pocket and washroom handle on each trip. (Charlsie Agro/CBC)

Used tampons, sandwiches, loose condoms, smartphones, dirty diapers. What do they all have in common?

Flight attendants tell Marketplace they’ve all been found in the seat pockets of airplanes.

Marketplace’s latest investigation reveals that the surfaces on a plane you’re likely touching most often might not be as clean as you think, and some are contaminated with bacteria and other pathogens.

Marketplace staff took a total of 18 short-haul flights between Ottawa and Montreal, flying with Canada’s three major airlines — Air Canada, WestJet and Porter — at various times throughout the day.

On each flight, the following surfaces were swabbed: seatbelt, tray table, headrest, seat pocket and washroom handle. In total, Marketplace collected more than 100 samples.

Microbiologist Keith Warriner tested the samples gathered by the Marketplace team on 18 short-haul flights between Ottawa and Montreal (Norman Arnold/CBC)

Those samples were then analyzed at a lab at the University of Guelph by microbiologist Keith Warriner, who tested the samples for a number of different types of bacteria, as well as yeast, mould, E. coli and other pathogens.

“I was really amazed about how much we actually recovered from them,” said Warriner.  “Some of them more scary than others.”

Nearly half of the surfaces swabbed contained levels of bacteria or yeast and mould that could put a person at risk for infection, Warriner said.

Yeast and mould were detected on the majority of the 18 flights, which Warriner said suggests that the surfaces were either not cleaned well or often enough.

The most contaminated surface on the plane was the headrest.

The most concerning finding for Warriner was E. coli bacteria detected on both the seat pocket and the headrest. The presence of E. coli indicates fecal contamination, and the bacteria can cause intestinal infections, with symptoms that can include diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

“We’ve got to try and think how would fecal contamination get inside [the seat pocket],” said Warriner.

#

‘It’s mostly for esthetics’

Connor Remus has a pretty good idea how a seat pocket might have come into contact with feces. The former Porter employee said he has found used diapers and other trash in seat pockets before.

“Everything goes in there; everything from the paper-thin vomit bags, to used wrappers…. I found used tampons in seat pockets before.”

Marketplace spoke to more than a dozen former flight attendants and customer service representatives about their experiences working on airplanes. Most said it was their responsibility to clean the planes between flights, but that there simply wasn’t enough time to properly disinfect an entire aircraft.

Former flight attendants describe a few reasons to avoid the seat pocket on an airplane:

Marketplace
Beware of dirty diapers: Former flight attendants share secrets from the sky
 WATCH

00:00 01:00

Three former flight attendants describe a few reasons to avoid the seat pocket on an airplane. 1:00

The reality, said Stéphane Poirier, who previously worked for WestJet, is that staff typically have less than 15 minutes to turn a plane around. “We had no time to wash the table or clean everything perfectly.”

There’s also no time between flights for staff to use cleansers or antibacterial spray, he said, noting cleaning solutions are often not allowed on board.

“We don’t have rags, we don’t have spray on board,” said Poirier. “Lots of [cleaners] are a dangerous good … so it’s either water from the aircraft, or a napkin.”

Any cleaning that does happen, said Remus, is often totally superficial. “It definitely was not a huge priority. And when it was a priority, it wasn’t necessarily for cleanliness, it was for an esthetic purpose.”

Bacteria found on contact surfaces

The levels of staph and mould Marketplace found on tray tables is evidence that the surface hasn’t been cleaned for some time, according to microbiologist and self-proclaimed “germ guy” Jason Tetro.

Travellers should pay particular attention to the tray-table result, he said, because it likely includes a kind of staph that may cause skin and soft-tissue infections, such as boils.

A sample shows the presence of mould, which was found on a blanket. (Jenny Cowley/CBC)

“If you’re coming into contact with high levels of staphylococcus aureus, such as what you’re seeing here, then you definitely are at a higher risk of having something go wrong,” Tetro said.

Tetro suggests air passengers avoid putting their faces down on the tray table to sleep, and never placing food directly on the table surface before putting it in their mouths, as ingesting or inhaling staph can be especially harmful.

Even ‘germ guy’ went ew!

For Tetro, who works in infection control, the headrest results were the biggest surprise.

“I was shocked. Honestly, I have looked at planes, and I travel so much on planes, I’m aware of so many of the different places [where germs could be found],” he said. “But then I saw what you showed me with the headrest. And even I, the germ guy, went ‘ew.'”

The levels of staph and mould Marketplace found on tray tables is evidence that the surface hasn’t been cleaned for some time, according to microbiologist Jason Tetro. (Dave Macintosh/CBC)

Hemolytic bacteria, mainly associated with strep throat, found on one headrest was especially concerning for Tetro, as was the presence of staph on that surface.

“It really is about ingestion or inhalation,” said Tetro. “If you happen to have this on a headrest, and you’re moving your head back and forth, then there’s a very good likelihood that you could potentially be inhaling this or getting it into close enough contact that it could get into you.”

Tetro added that it can also get into wounds. “If you have acne and you’re touching your face all the time, you could get something called impetigo, you could get cystitis,” he said.

Marketplace’s samples were analyzed at a lab at the University of Guelph. (Jenny Cowley/CBC)

And it’s important to note that if staph and mould is found living on these surfaces, other microbes can live there too, he said.

“It tells you that there’s not a sufficient amount of cleaning going on; yeast and mould are tougher to clean than bacteria,” Tetro said.

Marketplace also tested the blankets offered to passengers from two of the carriers: Air Canada and WestJet. (Porter didn’t offer a blanket.) The yeast, mould and high counts of bacteria on the WestJet blanket surprised Warriner.

Lab testing on this WestJet blanket showed yeast, mould and high counts of bacteria — surprising as it came in a cellophane wrapper. The airline said it was concerned by the finding, as all of its blankets are sold new and come sealed, straight from a distributor. (Andy Hincenbergs/CBC)

“What was worrying was this was in a cellophane wrapper,” he said. “It shouldn’t have been used.”

When Marketplace reached out to WestJet about these results, the airline said it was concerned by the findings.

“We are looking into this matter further, as all blankets sold on our flights are new (not previously used) and come sealed straight from the distributor,” the company said in an email.

Airlines respond

The only time a plane gets a proper cleaning is when it is not in service, according to the former airline employees.

All three airlines declined to be interviewed but did respond to emailed questions. Air Canada, WestJet and Porter all said they follow Canadian and international cabin-grooming rules.

These samples show the presence of E. coli, which was detected on both the headrest and the seat pocket. The presence of E. coli indicates fecal contamination, and the bacteria can cause intestinal infections. (Jenny Cowley/CBC)

In its response, Air Canada pointed to a study that it says proves hygiene on airlines is dirty, but no more dirty than any other public space. The study was funded in part by Boeing, the world’s largest airplane manufacturer.

WestJet said it was concerned by the findings, but that staff do their best, given the fact that planes are public spaces. The company said its planes are cleaned daily, noting that aircraft are given a light groom after every flight, a full groom every 24 hours, a complete interior detail monthly, and an enhanced, hyper-focused groom every year.

Porter said the company is confident about its efforts to keep passengers and staff safe. Porter also said that when an aircraft is done flying for the day, teams clean the interior from nose to tail, as well as carry out an intensive cleaning every three weeks.

Tetro advises that airline passengers need to take cleanliness matters into their own hands. He suggests travellers wipe down the surfaces they’re going to touch and always carry hand sanitizer with enough alcohol to actually kill germs.

“Fifteen seconds on your hands, 30 seconds on surfaces, and you’re good to go,” said Tetro.

Toronto’s Billy Bishop airport ends free snacks for waiting passengers after upgrades to main lounge

Porter airplanes at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency

So long, free espresso.

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is eliminating complimentary beverages such as cappuccino and soft drinks, and most snacks including almonds after modernizing its main departure lounge. Porter Airlines, the Canadian carrier that operates a majority of flights at Billy Bishop, confirmed the move in a series of Twitter messages Thursday.

“These changes have come about with the new lounge upgrades and opening of new restaurants and cafes in mid-October,” Porter said in one of several Twitter messages to customers. “Passengers have asked for more choices in food and shopping, and these new options address their needs.”

Porter said it will continue to offer free beer, wine and snacks aboard its aircraft. The free in-flight beverages, along with snacks in its airport lounges, were a key marketing tool used by Porter when it started a dozen years ago to compete with Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Ltd. Porter now flies to about 20 destinations in the U.S. and Canada, including Boston, Chicago and Newark, New Jersey.

Billy Bishop, the second-largest airport in Canada’s most populous city, is situated on an island in Toronto’s harbour and connected to the mainland by a pedestrian tunnel with moving walkways. Closely held Nieuport Aviation owns and operates the passenger terminal, which was recently refurbished with new restaurants and coffee bars.

Airport Owners

Nieuport is still offering a complimentary cookie to passengers and water refill stations at Billy Bishop, Porter added. Investors in Nieuport include AGF Management Ltd. and Larry Tanenbaum, part owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team.

“While we appreciate your feedback, Porter does not operate the lounges” at Billy Bishop, the airline said in response to a Twitter message from a customer. “They are owned by Nieuport. You can send your thoughts on the new upgrades” to the airport owner, Porter said.

Nieuport began operating the terminal in 2015, taking over from Porter. Traffic at Billy Bishop has surged this decade to about 2.8 million passengers last year, from 1.5 million in 2010.

Earlier this month, Nieuport opened three restaurants and three retail stores inside the passenger terminal, while improving the wine selection. About $50 million (US$38 million) has been spent on modernizing the airport in the last few years, according to Rebecca Thompson, a spokeswoman for Nieuport.

“Passengers have long asked for choice,” Thompson said by telephone. “Now they have hundreds of options with regards to food, beverage and shopping.”

Porter Airlines turns 12

TORONTOOct. 23, 2018 /CNW/ – It has been a dozen years since Porter Airlines introduced a distinct aviation concept to travellers. Emphasizing refined service offerings, including complimentary in-flight amenities, and developing its main base at the uniquely-located Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Porter has created a sophisticated brand appealing to a range of business and leisure flyers.

In the last year, the airline invested in people and infrastructure aimed at supporting its ongoing mission to provide competitive and affordable travel options.

This includes a new aircraft maintenance base in Sudbury to perform rotating overnight work on Porter’s fleet of 29 Bombardier Q400s. In Thunder Bay, Porter opened the first crew base for pilots and flight attendants in Northern Ontario among large commercially-scheduled airlines. These crewmembers begin and end their flying schedules in Thunder Bay, providing additional resources in support of local flights. Approximately 40 well-paying jobs have been introduced to date across both communities through these investments.

“Porter has developed a loyal following based on our willingness to do things differently,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “I want to recognize our entire team for contributing to a culture that values passion, perseverance and treating people with respect. This is what attracts customers and creates bonds among our team.”

Partners at Billy Bishop Airport are making their own investments to improve the customer experience. PortsToronto, the airport’s owner and operator, completed a multi-year airfield modernization program, including a resurfaced main runway and updated infrastructure. Nieuport Aviation, the airport terminal operator, recently upgraded the passenger lounges by adding more space, seating and a range of restaurant and retail locations. These improvements, seen and unseen by passengers, introduce new levels of efficiency and service to the airport.

Porter flies to regional locations in eastern Canada and the U.S., including high-frequency business routes between Toronto and OttawaMontreal and New York, plus appealing leisure markets in FloridaSouth Carolina and Quebec. Its vacations division, Porter Escapes, offers travel packages across its route map with accommodations and attractions.