Porter Airlines, a boutique Canadian regional airline based in Ontario, is opening an aircraft maintenance base at its westernmost outpost, Thunder Bay.
This is in addition to a pilot and flight attendant training base the airline already has in the city.
Porter will take advantage of two planes being parked each night in Thunder Bay to perform maintenance work and aircraft will be returned to service the following morning. It will use an existing hangar at the airport, and create 18 jobs.
“This decision is excellent news for the city,” said Thunder Bay mayor Bill Mauro in a statement. “It benefits the economy by introducing quality jobs and supports our airport as a regional hub for moving people and goods.”
There is likely to be a ready pool of workers for Porter – Confederation College offers an aircraft maintenance study program at the airport.
“The Porter expansion provides a wonderful opportunity for us to partner formally with a leader in the aviation industry,” said Confederation President Kathleen Lynch in an e-mail. “Porter Airlines is very interested in working with us to ensure they have the workforce available to meet their needs now and in the future.”
“Thunder Bay is an important location in Porter’s network,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “This latest investment in a maintenance base demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the community.”
The company operates a fleet of 29 Bombardier Q400 aircraft, and offers up to seven flights a day to Thunder Bay from its hub in Toronto.
Porter revitalized flying at Toronto’s moribund Billy Bishop airport when it launched service in 2006. It now serves a network of 16 Canadian and 6 U.S. destinations.