Porter Airlines is going full steam ahead with its plans for expansion. While Air Canada, a white elephant that can’t make money in good times, continues to lay off staff and cut routes, Porter Airlines is poised to take delivery of 10 more Bombardier Q-400 turboprops by the end of the year, bringing its total fleet size to 18. The additional aircraft will be used to add more flights to existing routes and be used on new routes that will be added in the next year. Porter could add as many as 5 new destinations this year.
Currently Porter flies from Toronto to Centre Airport to Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, New York via Newark’s Liberty International Airport, and Chicago. Boston and Washington D.C. are the next destinations slated for the expansion although no dates for a service launch to these cities has yet been released.
Although in some cases Porter’s prices may be higher than special fares offered by other airlines, the convenience of flying out of the Toronto Island Airport not only saves time but money in expensive cab or limo fares to Pearson International Airport. And, Porter has not been sucked into “no-frills purgatory”. They still offer free drinks in its lounges and onboard meals. Porter’s marketing strategy is based on delivering value, while other airlines duke it out in the price wars. Based on the fact that Porter is taking on 10 new planes and continues with plans for expansion, one can assume that they are doing well. However, there is really no way to know because Porter is privately owned and as such is not required to report on earnings. There is plenty of room in the friendly skies for Porter and I hope that they keep flying.