Porter Airlines’ flights to Halifax, Quebec City are back on

Porter Airlines ready to fly Sept. 8 to Canadian destinations, Sept. 17 to U.S.

TORONTO — Porter Airlines plans to be back in the air starting Sept. 8, 2021, with flights to domestic destinations first, followed by U.S. destinations.

The first group of Canadian destinations includes Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, St. John’s, Thunder Bay and Toronto.

Less than 10 days later, on Sept. 17, Porter plans to restart service to U.S. destinations including Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington.

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

“This is the moment our team members, passengers and the communities we serve have been waiting for,” said Michael Deluce, President and CEO, Porter Airlines. “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. Being grounded for more than a year has been incredibly difficult for everyone involved.”

Deluce adds: “In true Porter fashion, our team members have displayed remarkable levels of commitment, engagement and optimism over this uncertain period of time, despite the vast majority being unable to work. 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. We are looking forward to once again delivering Porter’s unique style of service.”

Deluce says some 500 team members will be recalled to active status as the first phase of flights are introduced. More staff will be added in subsequent months as flights and destinations return to the schedule.

FLEXIBLE BOOKING POLICIES

Porter is making all fares purchased by July 20, for travel through December 15, 2021, fully refundable, with no fees. This also applies to Porter Escapes vacation packages. The aim is to provide flexibility and give travellers peace of mind when purchasing for future travel.

Porter’s Healthy Flights protocol includes a comprehensive program to protect the health of passengers and team members, and strengthens existing standards focusing on high levels of sanitization.

REFUNDS PROCESS UNDERWAY

Meanwhile Porter’s refund process for COVID-impacted flight bookings is now underway.

Travel agent commissions are protected as part of the process.

Porter Aviation Holdings Inc., Porter’s parent company, announced last week that it had reached an agreement with the federal government for loans valued at up to $270.5 million.

Included in this amount is $20.5 million dollars dedicated to issuing additional passenger refunds for flights cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Porter is using this money primarily as a capital reserve during the pandemic recovery period,” said Deluce. “We intend to draw on these funds as required in support of re-establishing operations through an uncertain period of travel demand. Our immediate focus is on being ready to fly again as soon as public health conditions allow and governments modify travel restrictions.”

Porter is the latest to announce refunds for COVID-19 impacted travel plans, following Air Canada and Transat in April 2021 and Sunwing in June 2021. Like those airlines, Porter now has access to loans through the federal government’s Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation (CEEFC) under the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF).

Terms are consistent with LEEFF’s published rates and repayable within five years. A separate loan to assist with passenger refunds is repayable over seven years.

All flights booked by June 30, 2021, for travel as of February 1, 2020, are eligible for refunds, says Porter.

The initial flight schedule is as follows:

Canadian Routes*

Peak daily roundtrips

Service start date

Ottawa – Toronto

6 flights

Sept. 8

Montreal – Toronto

6 flights

Sept. 8

Thunder Bay – Toronto

3 flights

Sept. 8

Ottawa – Halifax

2 flights

Sept. 13

Montreal – Halifax

1 flight

Sept. 13

Quebec City – Toronto

1 flight

Sept. 13

Halifax – St. John’s

1 flight

Sept. 17

Moncton – Ottawa

1 flight

Sept. 17

U.S. Routes*

New York (Newark) – Toronto

6 fights

Sept. 17

Boston – Toronto

3 flights

Sept. 17

Chicago (Midway) – Toronto

2 flights

Sept. 17

Washington (Dulles) – Toronto

1 flight

Sept. 17

* All Toronto routes operate at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Schedules vary by day of week.

All submissions must be made online and will be accepted until Aug. 29, 2021. Refunds are for the total purchase amount and will be processed to the original form of payment, such as a credit card and VIPorter points.

Passengers have the option of keeping their existing travel credits and receiving a 25% credit bonus, depending on their method of booking. These credits are valid until Dec. 31, 2022, are fully transferable, and can be redeemed multiple times until the full balance is used. Credits, including bonuses, are automatically applied and do not require the customer to contact Porter. Eligible customers will be notified by email if their address was provided at the time of booking. The value of credits, including bonus amounts, is included in this email.

“All customers with pandemic-related flight cancellations now have the option of requesting a refund,” said Deluce. “We look forward to returning to flying this summer and welcoming passengers back onboard our planes.”

Porter has already issued thousands of refunds requested by passengers to date for all flights cancelled on U.S. routes, or any domestic flight booked as of July 2020.

More details about the refund process are available on Porter’s website.