TORONTO — Porter Airlines’ restart date has been tentatively set for June 21, 2021.
The airline was last targeting May 19 to resume operations. Flights have been temporarily suspended on March 21, 2020, due to COVID-19.
“In recent weeks, there has been open discussion by government officials about easing travel restrictions based on expectations that vaccination programs will be well advanced in the U.S. and Canada by early summer,” said Michael Deluce, President and CEO of Porter Airlines.
“We recognize that short-term public health measures have been enhanced recently in certain jurisdictions. At the same time, we are looking ahead to summer and preparing for the possibility of some travel restrictions unwinding. We will begin the process of rebuilding our operations as soon as conditions allow based on government decisions.”
The Canada-U.S. border is closed until at least April 21, 2021. At the COVID-19 briefing on April 6, 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Health Minister Patty Hajdu reiterated the Canadian government’s stance that ‘now is not the time to travel’. An April 5 opinion piece in the Globe and Mail said it is “indefensible” that Canadian officials are still refusing to even discuss plans for reopening the border.
Meanwhile in the U.S., 20% of the American population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and one-third has received at least one dose. U.S. President Joe Biden has indicated that the vaccination rollout could make July 4 the country’s Independence Day from COVID-19.