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Porter Airlines Pushes Restart to February

Canadian carrier blames business travel slump, border closures and quarantines for delay

by Business Traveler

November 13, 2020

Canadian carrier Porter Airlines has announced it will postpone restarting its operations until Feb. 11, 2021. Prior to the pandemic, the regional airline served 16 domestic destinations from Toronto, in addition to 5 cities in the US, operates out of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

Porter, which partners with major carriers including JetBlue and Qatar Airways, suspended operations on March 21 as business travel, its primary market, dried up.

“Deferring service until 2021 is not a decision we anticipated having to make as Covid-19 emerged early this year,” said Michael Deluce, CEO, Porter Airlines. “Unfortunately, the continued and cumulative effects of restrictive travel advisories, border closures and quarantines have suffocated travel demand to the point that a return to sustainable levels of passenger traffic is highly unlikely in 2020.”

The US-Canada border has been closed since March, and will remain shut to non-essential travel until at least Nov. 21, according to an announcement by Bill Blair, Canada’s minister of public safety. This marks the seventh extension since the Canadian government shut down cross-border travel from the US.

Porter has said it will waive change and cancellation fees on flights booked until Feb. 11.