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Porter to remain grounded until February

Lack of customer demand stalling airline’s restart
20120401 Porter Q400 KA
Porter Airlines won't fly again until at least February, according to the company's latest update. (Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday)

Flights with Porter Airlines won’t run again until at least February.

That’s the latest update from the Toronto-based airline, which suspended its flights in March following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Nov. 9 news release, the company said the decision was informed by a lack of customer demand due to increasing COVID-19 cases and ongoing travel restrictions.

“Deferring service until 2021 is not a decision we anticipated having to make as COVID-19 emerged early this year,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines, in a Nov. 9 news release.

“Every delay to restarting flights has the greatest effect on our team members, who are eager to do their part to help serve customers under safe conditions.

“Unfortunately, the continued and cumulative effects of restrictive travel advisories, border closures and quarantines have suffocated travel demand to the point that a return to sustainable levels of passenger traffic is highly unlikely in 2020.”

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Noting that January is a typically slow period for the company, Porter said that aiming for a February restart provides a reasonable opportunity to begin flying if conditions improve.”

“This also gives more time for the development of rapid testing solutions as a promising means to lift government-imposed restrictions on travel,” the company noted.

Based in Toronto, the airline offers flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Halifax, St. John’s, Stephenville, N.L., Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston and Washington (Dulles), and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que., Muskoka, Ont., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.