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If you’re aren’t familiar with Porter Airlines and their lounges, you just roll your suitcase—and yourself—right inside as lounge access is a complimentary amenity available to each and every passenger. No credit card, membership, or other paperwork needed to swing in for a drink, a comfortable seat, and a personal power outlet.
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Joe Fresh might not be that familiar a name to those living in the nifty fifty, but for those above the border the apparel, accessories, and cosmetics company is pretty well known. A flagship store in New York City just debuted, but you can always check them out—for free—thanks to Porter Airlines.
To celebrate the season, the airline and the brand are teaming up the bring a little fun to travelers at the airport and in the skies. At Joe Fresh stores in Canada there’ll be chances to win different travel-related prizes, and of course Porter Airlines will provide your airfare. Prizes include a weekend in New York City as well as a $500 gift card to one of the Joe Fresh stores.
Apparently it’s been an on and off discussion for several years, and now it looks like there’s a development in a different kind of battle for Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. This one has nothing to do with other airlines trying to get access to Porter Airlines favorite little airport, but it has everything to do with how passengers get to the airport.
As of now the only way to get to Toronto’s City Airport is thanks to a ferry ride, but some are eager for a more convenient way. There had been talk of a tunnel or bridge in the past, but now it looks like the debate is heating up once again in favor of building a pedestrian tunnel. It’s far from a done deal as of now—mainly because it’s going to cost around 50 million Loonies—but some just can’t wait to stroll to the airport.
We’ve been following the ongoing battle at Billy Bishop Airport, and it now looks like Air Canada will finally be landing at Toronto-City. Just to recap, the airline has been trying to bring back its turboprop service to the smaller—yet super convenient—airport right outside the comings and goings of downtown Toronto after stopping service in 2006.
For quite some time, Porter Airlines has been the exclusive commercial airline with access to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, and thanks to the lack of a true competitor, they’ve done pretty well with their service to Canada and the United States.
Everything continues to go well for little Porter Airlines, as some of their most recent news confirms they’ve got more butts in the seats than they did a year ago. There hasn’t really been too much talk about new destinations or new flights, but it seems that those routes to New York and Myrtle Beach have been doing pretty well.
The thing that might be helping them out the most is that they’re still not facing any real competition at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Not too long ago, we suggested that Air Canada might be bringing some smaller planes into the airport as well—clearly eager to cash in on Porter’s market—but it looks like that idea is delayed yet again.
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We knew that Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has been the happening airport in Toronto for quite some time, and especially since Porter Airlines is proving to the world how successful the little airport can be. Air Canada has been trying to gain access to the airport, and now it looks like we have a date for when there will finally be a little competition at the airport.
Most of the paperwork has been filled out and signed, and it looks like Air Canada—through the help from one of their regional airline buddies—will be heading to and from the airport beginning in February. Their initial flight schedule will be limited to just Montreal, but with 15 nonstop options throughout the day, there’s plenty of availability.
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We had a feeling that little Porter Airlines was going to have to battle it out with the big boys sooner rather than later. It looks like that time is now, as Air Canada Jazz and Continental Airlines have been given initial approval to do their thing in and out of Billy Bishop Toronto City Center Airport.
The airport authority hired some consultants to figure everything out, and they think 44 spots should go to Porter, 30 of them to Air Canada, and just 16 slots to Continental. Porter hasn’t had any competition at the airport yet, but Air Canada was obviously a little jealous of their success. There’s going to be a full review by judges and other important legal people this July, and hopefully we’ll officially find out who gets what.
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If you ever thought that it wasn't possible for the Queen of England to hop onboard a low-cost carrier for a quickie flight, then your world is about to be turned upside-down. That's right; her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, is scheduled to grab a flight on Porter Airlines, to make the jump between Toronto and Waterloo during a 9-day trip to Canada coming up in early July.
This decision by the Queen's people to take a smaller prop plane from Porter is controversial in that it validates Porter and their flying out of Toronto City Airport (YTZ), even though Toronto's mayor and downtown residents positively abhor the airport. Now, it'll obviously be a charter flight because Porter doesn't fly the short distance between Waterloo and Toronto (there's VIARail Canada for that), but if you want to take a similar Porter scheduled route between Toronto and Ottawa in July, one-ways start at $109 CAD.
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The party might be over for Porter Airlines. For quite some time they have been the only game in town when it comes to flying out of the convenient Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Sure they have awesome service and excellent in-flight amenities, but a lack of competition helps out a bunch with their success. We knew Air Canada and their buddy Jazz were planning something for some time, but it appears that their secret is now out.
Jazz is ordering 15 Q400 turboprop planes from Bombardier for around $450 million. These are pretty much the same planes that Porter Airlines has been using to ferry passengers to and from Toronto, so apparently the suits at Jazz have caught on to what planes are successful on these routes.
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We haven’t heard too much about Porter Airlines since they launched their kind of odd—to us at least—service to Myrtle Beach. Don’t get us wrong, we love NASCAR chain restaurants as much as the next person, but the whole Toronto to South Carolina route just didn’t seem to fit with the rest of their routes. Regardless of what we think, Porter has continued to move forward with some new routes and their signature service.
Some of these newest routes incorporate places with which they are most familiar, but we have to admit that we needed to look up a few of these Canadian hotspots. There are new flights from Toronto to Moncton, New Brunswick and from Montreal to Halifax that start up at the end of June in time for summer vacation season. Also, flights from Toronto to Sudbury, Ontario started the last week in March. If you still want to check out that Myrtle Beach route, you better hurry, as the flights end for the season at the end of May.
We're barely a couple weeks in and already 2010 looks like a slow year for the travel industry, and airports around the globe are more likely to see reduced service rather than an increase in new routes. However, the Toronto City Centre Airport has been a hit with travelers on Porter Airlines lately, and the Toronto Port Authority is thinking about expanding things a bit.
The airport’s first big change is a new name. As of November it became known as the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport in honor of the Canadian flying ace from the First World War. The old name will still be around for the next month or so, but just remember the name change the next time you and your friends are playing airport Trivial Pursuit.
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After Porter Airlines vaguely announced earlier this month that it would start service to an unnamed airport in Chicago, TheAirDB reports that the Candian airline will start service to Midway soon.
It'll be the second destination in the US for Porter, which flies seven times a day between Toronto City Centre Airport and Newark. There's still no official word on when trips to Chicago might start.
Porter has also recently added service to Quebec City, and in the past it's made seasonal trips to Mont Tremblant--something to keep in mind as winter creeps up on Canada.