Toronto-based Porter Airlines officially returned to the skies yesterday following almost 18 months of suspending operations due to COVID-19. The Canadian airline was originally hoping to be back in the air by July, to take advantage of the peak summer travel season but then decided to delay the restart until September 8th, due to ongoing travel restrictions.
Initially, Porter Airlines will resume flights to Canadian destinations from its main base on the Toronto Islands. It plans to return to destinations in the United States starting from September 17th. Porter says that it has recalled around 500 employees as the first phase of flights is introduced. It will then bring back more staff as it ramps up operations.
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Domestic flights will return first
The airline said it was resuming flights from YTZ to the following airports:
- Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
- Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport (YOW)
- Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT)
Porter Airlines says that it also plans to resume flights to the following other Canadian destinations within the next ten days:
- Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
- Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)
- St. John’s International Airport (YYT)
- Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport (YQM)
In the company statement Porter Airlines president and CEO Michael Deluce said:
“Our passengers and team members have been waiting for this day to arrive. We currently have over 900 team members who have put in countless hours to get everything ready for our return to service, with more being recalled or hired every week. Everyone at Porter is looking forward to welcoming passengers back and delivering our distinct style of service again.”
Porter is preparing for the opening of the USA
Despite Canada lifting restrictions to allow fully vaccinated Americans to visit, the United States border remains closed to Canadian citizens. For nearly 16 months, the 5,500-mile land border between Canada and the United States has remained closed to contain further spread of COVID-19.
It is now assumed that the US will allow fully vaccinated Canadian citizens to enter the country from September 21st. Canada has had one of the most successful vaccination rollouts globally, with more than 74% of Canadians receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.
With American’s now able to visit Canada and the anticipation that Canadians will soon be able to return to the US, Porter Airlines will resume flights to the following American airports starting September 17, 2021:
- Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
- Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Porter Airlines COVID-19 policy
To help the flying public and its employees, Porter Airlines has strengthened its sanitation and hygiene policies and introduced a COVID-19 vaccination policy for its team members. To support a safe and healthy workplace, all Porter Airline employees who are not fully vaccinated must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no sooner than 72 hours before starting their shift.
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