Porter suspends operations, eyes June 1 restart

Porter suspends operations, eyes June 1 restart

TORONTO — Porter Airlines says it is temporarily suspending all flights at end of day March 20, with plans to resume service on June 1.

“COVID-19 is having an unprecedented effect on people around the world and Porter is determined to do our part to support the efforts of the Canadian, U.S. and global authorities in their responses,” says Michael Deluce, Porter’s president and CEO.

“Restricting activities by people in all communities is what’s required to keep our team members and passengers healthy, and ultimately to end this fast-spreading pandemic. A temporary suspension of all flights allows the public health crisis to diminish and then time to restart our operations.”

“Remaining flights through March 20, will allow customers to complete existing trips and return home, or make last-minute reservations to reach a destination.”

Porter already has a waiver in place for change and cancellation fees so there is no cost to customers for modifying an existing itinerary, adds Deluce.

He added that Porter is also prepared to help recovery efforts by operating flights to support the movement of government officials, public health requirements and economic recovery efforts. Porter FBO at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport will remain open to support these needs, as well as Ontario’s provincial medevac service and other general aviation

Reservations are currently being taken for Porter flights starting June 1. All flights booked in June will be fully changeable and refundable to give passengers maximum flexibility as travel resumes.

Passengers can cancel existing reservations online at www.flyporter.com. With the volume of inquiries at the call centre consistently high this month, Porter is asking that only passengers with immediate travel needs through March 20, who can’t resolve their request online, use the call centre in order to alleviate wait times.

“It is regrettable that this situation requires us to issue temporary layoffs across the business. We are doing everything possible to support our team during this period and intend to welcome back all of our team members as operations restart,” said Deluce.

He added: “Executive Chairman Robert Deluce and I will not receive any salary during this time, in alignment with the impact on our team members. All other management who remain during the temporary suspension will see salary reductions of up to 30 percent until flights resume.

“Porter’s team is exceptional. Our resilient culture has seen the company through difficult times in the past and it will allow us to do so again. We intend to come back stronger than ever and ready to meet the needs of customers.”