TORONTO — A lot can be achieved in just 10 years time, just ask Porter Airlines. The airline, which launched its first flights on Oct. 23, 2006 between Toronto and Ottawa, celebrated 10 years of service yesterday with ceremonies in both cities and commemorative flights between Billy Bishop Airport and Ottawa International Airport.
Hundreds of team members, partners and other guests gathered in Toronto and Ottawa yesterday to welcome two commemorative flights that honoured Porter’s first route. Each flight included original crews from 2006, and was greeted at the respective airports with a traditional water cannon salute.
“Being in a position to celebrate 10 exciting years is first and foremost a credit to Porter’s 1,400 team members who are focused on providing the absolute best service we can every day,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “We’re also incredibly thankful to our passengers and partners for supporting us since day one.”
Nearly 18 million passengers have flown with Porter over the last 10 years, while the airline travelled more than 240 million kilometres. This year, Porter was selected as a top 10 international airline by both Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler magazines. It was also chosen as Best Regional Airline in North America by Skytrax.
“Porter is a true Canadian success story,” said Geoffrey Wilson, CEO of PortsToronto, which owns and operates Billy Bishop Airport. “When Porter Airlines launched in 2006, the airport was servicing 25,000 passengers per year. In 2015, the airport welcomed 2.5 million passengers, was confirmed as the sixth-busiest airport in Canada servicing the U.S., and the ninth-busiest overall, drove economic output of more than $2 billion and accounted for 6,500 jobs directly and indirectly.”
As a special commemoration of its 10th birthday, Porter is distributing for the first time a limited number of Mr. Porter raccoon brand mascots in plush format. These have been requested by customers since the Mr. Porter character first appeared as a sophisticated and fun representation of the airline in 2006. Sales of these special mascots are exclusive to the passenger lounges at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport while supplies last.
Giveaways of free flights were also provided to one passenger on every flight for the last two days.