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Porter Airlines

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Porter Airlines

Old 18th May 2020, 19:58
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Porter Airlines

On having a good look around I couldn't find any proper thread for Porter so I thought i'd create one. This thread is to discuss everything about Porter, past, present and future. I thought i'd start it off with one question. Given how the airlines has been operational now for almost 14 years, what does everyone see as the future for the airline?

With Billy Bishop airport basically at capacity due to the Tripartite agreement Porter are clearly going to have to look elsewhere for growth. Given how it has a MRO facility and crew base at Thunder Bay, maybe this would be a good place to look to expand it's operations, however, Montreal or Quebec City might also be good places to expand? Porter could possibly look to expands it's Toronto operations, by creating a second base out of Pearson, although I could see Jazz/Air Canada doing everything to stop it, this would also finally allow Porter to bring in the A220 jets it has always wanted to bring into the fleet, although whether it would be as attractive to them now it is owned by Airbus and not Bombardier remains to be seen.

Obviously, this is just speculation and the coronavirus is going to have a significant impact to all airline operations, but i'd love to what other people see the future for Porter.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 00:59
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The TPA expires in 2033. I have a hard time seeing how the island airport will have a second agreement signed, given how other cities have treated their city-centre airports. The federal government will stay as far away from such a contentious political issue, as will the provincial government. That leaves the city to fight it out with Porter, and I think its a lost cause. There are too many people in downtown Toronto who can handle the noise from a Leafs or Jays game, but go mental over the occasional hum from a Dash-8 (if they can ever hear it over the noise of the city). I hope Porter can make a strong case as they have a solid niche market. But this is ultimately what their future hinges on. If the agreement is signed again, then they'll have years of life left to them.

If they were forced to move to Pearson, they'd be eaten alive by Air Canada and WestJet. Their whole business is built around a downtown-to-downtown service. With Air Canada operating out of T1 and WestJet out of T3, they'd have to operate out of the infield terminal, and that's not an easy place to get to for the average person, not to mention the lack of parking when one gets there. The hassle alone would drive their passengers away as the only way it would work to scale would be some form of bus shuttle service. Other airports do this, but they also have far more volume.

Thunder Bay is too small a market to host an airline that is not specifically tied to Northern Ontario and Manitoba. So is Quebec City. The Thunder Bay crew base is there only because they needed to keep their Thunder Bay domiciled pilots from moving en-masse to Air Canada. I work with a lot of ex-Porter pilots who lived in T-Bay, and almost all say it wasn't enough to keep them there. It's a great option for the guy or gal who wants to quickly leave something like Wasya or Thunder Airlines but doesn't want to live in Toronto, but it's still a regional salary.

Now, Hamilton could be a good option if the province could ever figure out how to get a train from downtown to Hamilton Airport. Yes, it would be a longer ride than the UP Express, but the lines would be much shorter at the airport, so the time to the gate might be around the same. If it was, then I could see a few people who would go for that. Another option is if the planned airport out near Oshawa ever goes ahead, but that seems to be in development hell and would likely be opened well after 2033.

Montreal might be an option. But Montreal is not Toronto. Toronto has the volume to handle another regional carrier. Montreal might not. Plus, Montreal is where Air Canada is headquartered. That'd be akin to kicking a hornet's nest. Air Canada would not permit that to happen. Porter aircraft would be painted with a leaf not too soon after methinks.

So I guess really, there are only two ways Porter gets through 2033: they are bought out by Air Canada or WestJet or the TPA is signed and they live on.
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Old 25th May 2020, 21:37
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Interesting view. I don't see why WestJet or Air Canada would really be interested in Porter unless it started to expand its operations to larger jets such as A320 or bigger. On the whole Porters market is different to ACE or WJ
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Old 26th May 2020, 01:35
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 100
Porter is and has been very conservative/cautious when it comes to expansion.
There was a little bit of talk of minor expansion pre-Covid, but now it's the absolute last thing on everyone's minds.
I'm always amused at how there's so much speculation on forums but we kinda like to keep a little aside from the status quo. Talking to a current employee is far different than talking to a former one who was enjoying a new job.
Looking forward to restarting ops.
PM me if you have any specific questions.
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