how to add a hit counter to a website TORONTO ISLAND AIRPORT - DIRECT FLIGHT TO NEW YORK CITY
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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 Air Canada.
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 airline.

``New York is a destination we've been asked about for two years,'' Chief Executive Officer 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 Partners analyst Cameron Doerksen said.

Matching Fares

``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 ($93).

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 flight.

Saving Time

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 Montreal-based 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 dalexander3@bloomberg.net; Hugo Miller in Toronto at 5724 or hmiller@bloomberg.net

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