Porter Airlines will suspend all of its flights, at the close of operations on March 20, to help support public health efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus.
Michael Deluce, Porter’s president and CEO, made the announcement on March 18.
“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,” he said in a news release.
“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.”
Porter said it plans to resume flights on June 1.
Customers will still be able to catch flights through March 20 to allow them to complete existing trips and return home, he said.
They will not be charged fees for changes or cancellations at this time.
The company said it is prepared to operate flights to move government officials, and assist in public health requirements and economic recovery efforts.
Porter’s fixed base operation at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport will also remain open to help with those needs, and the province’s medevac service and other general aviation.
Deluce said the company has had to lay off workers during this time. He and executive chairman, Robert Deluce, will not take a salary while operations are suspended, while managers who remain working will take salary reductions of up to 30 per cent until flights resume.
In Northern Ontario, Porter offers service to Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, and Timmins.