Porter prolongs service suspension


Airline blames Canada-U.S. border closure and the “Atlantic Travel Bubble” for prolonged grounding

Porter Airlines De Havilland Dash 8-400
A Porter Airlines De Havilland Dash 8-400 in an undated file photo (CNW Group/Porter Airlines Inc.).

Toronto-based carrier Porter Airlines will prolong its service suspension until at least October 7. The regional carrier blames the ongoing border closure between Canada and the United States and provincial travel restrictions.

“We never intended to suspend operations for such an extended period of time,” said Michael Deluce, Porter’s president and Chief Executive Officer. “Unfortunately, the layers of travel restrictions are serving to keep most people at home and show no signs of easing. We will continue making decisions based on how the situation evolves.”

While Canadians can freely fly into the U.S., they must quarantine on their return. That has all but ended most transborder flights. The pandemic continues to rage south of the border. That means there is little appetite in Canada for reopening the border. While they say it could take several months, travel industry have called for governments to start looking at how to safely reopen. Provinces in Atlantic Canada have also imposed restrictions on people arriving from west of the Quebec-New Brunswick border.


Porter specializes in flights out of Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport to cities in Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada, and the northeastern U.S., flying a fleet of De Havilland Dash 8-400 aircraft.

The airline grounded its fleet in mid-March and has repeatedly pushed back its restart date.

“We are closely watching developments and know that Porter will be an important part of providing people with travel options as the economy recovers,” the airline said in a statement to passengers.

Sharing the pain

Porter said that summer seasonal routes to Muskoka, Ontario and Stephenville, Newfoundland are cancelled for 2020.

Porter isn’ the only airline raising concerns about pandemic-related travel restrictions. Air Canada warned last week that it may cancel new airplane orders, blaming government border restrictions for suppressing travel.