Porter Keeps CSeries Option Open

TORONTO, ON – APRIL 10: Robert Deluce, President and CEO of Porter Airlines, announces the purchase of a dozen Bombardier C-series jets to operate from Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport, subject to regulatory approval for runway upgrades. With Deluce in some pix is Porter’s Chairman, Don Carty. Some photos of Deluce and Carty inside a mockup of the jet. (Keith Beaty/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Porter Airlines CEO Bob DeLuce says he’s not cancelling his order for CSeries jets because he believes allowing modern jet aircraft to use Billy Bishop Airport is inevitable. “We continue to be of the view that it is not really a question of if, it’s a question of when,” Deluce said in an interview with the Financial Post.“I think there is significant growth opportunity available to us. Whether that comes with additional regional routes, or whether a second fleet type gives us the longer-range destinations that come with flying an airplane like the CSeries, that will play out in due course.”

The federal Liberals shut down a bid by Porter to convince authorities to remove the decades long ban on most jet access to the airport, which is adjacent to downtown Toronto on Toronto Island. The ban was initially imposed over noise concerns but modern jets are nowhere near as noisy as those built in the 1970s. Porter built its business operating Bombardier Q400 turboprops from Billy Bishop to points within its 1,200-mile range. With the CSeries it would be able to fly non-stop to just about anywhere in North America and possibly Western Europe.