Toronto Island Airport-Fly to New York City
by Mark Smyth In
Monday March 31, 2008
TORONTO ISLAND AIRPORT IS NOW DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO NEW YORK CITY WITH PORTER
AIRLINES START OF FLIGHTS
Porter Airlines Inc., a 17-month- old carrier that
flies turboprops, began flights today from Toronto to the New York area as it
challenges the jets of larger rival
Porter offers seven daily flights from Toronto City Centre Airport to Newark,
New Jersey, the first of at least five U.S. routes planned by the closely held
``New York is a destination we've been asked about for two years,'' Chief
Robert Deluce said today in an interview at the airport, located on an
island in the city's harbor. ``There's a lot of pent-up demand.''
Using turboprop planes lets Porter fly from the downtown airport, where jets
can't land. Passengers from Toronto's financial district can reach the field in
10 minutes, avoiding a 45-minute drive to Toronto Pearson International Airport.
``This is awesome; you're door to door now from New York and Toronto in three
hours,'' said passenger Darol Ryan, a 28- year-old New York resident who is
setting up a Toronto-based hedge fund. ``You're saving two hours, which is
important especially when travel is such a nightmare.''
Porter is challenging jets flown by
ACE Aviation Holding Inc.'s Air Canada and its Jazz Air regional partner on
a route that connects two of North America's biggest financial centers.
Montreal-based Air Canada has already responded by cutting prices, Versant
Cameron Doerksen said.
``We always match the lowest fares in any market,'' Air Canada spokesman
Peter Fitzpatrick said in an interview. Porter's one-way fares start at C$95
Air Canada and Jazz have 23 daily flights to three airports around New York
City, and started selling unlimited flight passes last month to U.S. cities
including New York.
Porter is also competing with Houston-based Continental Airlines Inc. and UAL
Corp.'s United Airlines of Chicago on the route.
Porter, whose chairman is former American Airlines CEO
Donald Carty, is expanding in a market that saw the demise of scheduled
Canadian carriers such as Jetsgo, CanJet Airlines, Harmony Airways, Canada 3000
Inc. and Canadian Airlines Corp. in the past eight years.
Porter's first flight to Newark's Liberty International Airport had 47
passengers in the 70-seat plane. Six travelers took the 11:30 a.m. return
Porter is a much better quality of service, from start to finish,'' said
Toronto resident David Leonard, 32, who took the first Newark flight. ``It's a
short trip to New York, it's a bit cheaper and, because it's so close to
downtown, it saved me an hour of travel time.''
Porter may add two more U.S. destinations this year, Deluce said.
``We have been looking hard at Boston and Chicago, but certainly we are also
considering Washington and Philadelphia,'' he said.
The Toronto-based airline flies to Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and, starting
June 27, Quebec City with six 70-seat Q400 turboprop planes made by
Bombardier Inc. Porter announced the New York flights in January.
The C$95 one-way fare to Newark is for flights booked by April 2, for travel
by June 26.
To contact the reporter on this story:
Doug Alexander in Toronto at
Hugo Miller in Toronto at 5724 or