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Porter Airlines pulling the chute on North Bay

Not enough butts in seats for regional carrier’s liking
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Porter NorthBay photo

Porter Airlines, which came in with an exciting buzz in October of 2015, will be concluding its service out of Jack Garland Airport effective this September.

"Porter is concluding its service in North Bay as of September 11, 2017, after the peak summer season," Porter Airlines said in an email statement to BayToday.ca on June 28.

"We never want to leave any market that we enter because we understand the value that competitive air service brings to a community in terms of lower airfares. Unfortunately, there was not enough consistent passenger demand for us to continue operating the daily flight we have there."

The discount passenger airline which flies out of Toronto's Billy Bishop Airport in downtown Toronto first took flight out of the North Bay airport in October of 2015.

That year, the city of North Bay and Porter Airlines announced that the two had reached a five-year agreement.

North Bay Mayor Al McDonald said it is disappointing that Porter will not be serving North Bay and area after September 11.

"Despite offering low airfares and great service, the demand and customer volume in North Bay and area was not at the level required to support this service. We thank them for their efforts and interest in North Bay and surrounding area," said McDonald in an email to BayToday.

North Bay Taxpayers Association President Miles Peters, said there is a positive side, no more tax dollars wasted on the service.

"While it is great to have competition, choice and enhanced service the reality is that ultimately there must be the market demand to support and sustain the ongoing operations," explained Peters.

"Porter's presence in North Bay was enticed, bought and paid for by the secret transfer of your taxpayer dollars provided by hard earned cash and concessions. At least now the taxpayers will no longer have to pay costly subsidy to pay for the luxury of too few people using the service. We can now just focus on paying off the two million dollar enhancement to the North Bay Airport and the one million dollar additional enticement money recently awarded to Invest North Bay that appears to be headed in the same direction as the dollars spent on Porter."

The news was obviously disappointing for Jack Garland Airport Manager Jack Santerre.

"Unfortunately since the introduction of the flights in October of 2015 they were not able to build load factor to sustain the continued operation of this flight in our market," said Santerre in an email to BayToday.ca.

Porter's announcement is a change in direction from an announcement in March when the company announced it was planning to enhance flight service out of North Bay. The news comes on the heels of Porter announcing enhanced flight service into the Maritimes.


Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with BayToday.ca since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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