Just weeks after securing a federal loan of over $270 million Porter Airlines has announced a major expansion that will see the airline purchase new planes, expand flight destinations across North America, and begin flying out of Toronto Pearson International Airport.
In a release Monday, Porter confirmed plans purchase up to 80 new Embraer E195-E2 aircraft for $5.82 billion. The planes will “have transcontinental range” and will be in the skies in the second half of 2022.
The company said it has a firm order for 30 planes, with purchase rights for 50 more.
“We are planning to fly our new jets from Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and Toronto Pearson International Airport, giving you more travel options with us,” the release states. “Destinations will include the west coast, and sunny spots in the southern United States, Mexico and the Caribbean.”
The new routes will be finalized before the aircraft are delivered in mid-2022.
“We are bringing Porter’s distinct style of service to dozens of new North American cities,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines.
“We believe that now is the right time to make this investment as the pandemic resets the aviation landscape. Adding a diverse selection of popular business and leisure destinations to our network means that we are better positioned to serve the needs of many more passengers.”
The airline will continue its operations at Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport, with flights sets to resume within Canada on September 8.
Service to U.S. destinations will follow on September 17.
“Our commitment to Billy Bishop Airport is not changing,” said Robert Deluce, the airline’s founder and executive chairman.
“Our corporate headquarters at Billy Bishop is being maintained and we will continue serving the same network of regional markets from downtown Toronto. We are moving beyond this existing footprint to welcome more travellers across North America, with an emphasis on providing the sophisticated service that only Porter delivers.”
Porter suspended operations on March 21, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.